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Pac-12 to introduce morning kickoff times

Pac-12 football fans will need to adjust to a new kickoff time for the 2014 season.

The conference announced Sunday that it will introduce an 11 a.m. PT kickoff window during the upcoming season, and Pac-12 Networks will broadcast the games in place of an evening game.

Games that will be played in the new time slot will be announced as the season progresses.

“This is a positive step for Pac-12 fans across the Conference,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a press release. “There has been an adjustment over the last two years with our new television agreement, and we believe fans — both in our stadiums and in the television audience — will benefit.”

The presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 schools wrote a letter earlier this year stating its intent to address the evolving needs of student-athletes, and among the topics mentioned was the abundance of late-night games played in the conference.

Also brought up in the group’s letter was health care for athletes, and the conference announced Sunday that a $3.6 million-per-year research program has been extended for the next three years — allowing each Pac-12 school to submit proposals regarding ways to “fund product and technology implementation for the betterment of student-athlete health and well-being.”

Arizona State opens its 2014 football season by hosting Weber State on Thursday, Aug. 28. The University of Arizona kicks off its season on Friday, Aug. 29 by hosting UNLV.