Texas Gov. Greg Abbott believes college football will start on time, with fans

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he thinks college football will return on schedule with some level of fans in the stands.

Abbott has already issued new rules to allow youth sports leagues to resume in June and for some professional leagues to hold events without spectators. But the state rules have so far not touched college sports.

"Once we get to college football season, our goal right now is to have college football season start as planned, with fans in stands," the Republican governor told Austin television station KXAN. "What we don't know is what the capacity level would be."

The University of Texas announced this week it would open campus to students for the regularly scheduled Aug. 26 start of the fall semester. But officials have not detailed social distancing plans or how the school will handle residence halls and athletics.

The Longhorns are scheduled to host South Florida on Sept. 5.

Abbott said he's discussed potential attendance levels with UT athletic director Chris Del Conte and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, in addition to officials with professional teams in the state.

"Pro sports teams can begin the workout process in June. We are anticipating the possibility of Major League Baseball starting in July," Abbott said. "That will give us a pathway of being able to see what potential seating could look like."

Texas is in Phase 2 of its reopening plan plan, which includes bars and other businesses operating at 25% capacity.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.