Photo: LM Otero, AP
Conception Casa, center, and his friend Jose Martinez, right, check on Rhonda Worthington after her car became stuck in rising floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. The two men were evacuating their home that had become flooded when they encountered Worthington’s car floating off the road.
Conception Casa, center, and his friend Jose Martinez, right, check on Rhonda Worthington after her car became stuck in rising floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017.
Photo: LM Otero, AP
University of Houston postpones weekend games amid flooding
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HOUSTON (AP) — The University of Houston has postponed its football game at Texas-San Antonio on Saturday as the city deals with catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
The Cougars have been in Austin practicing since Friday, but decided that this week was not the time to play a game.
“The epic disaster that continues to unfold in and around the city of Houston has made it evident that our athletic events are not a priority at this time,” Houston athletics director Hunter Yurachek said Tuesday. “Our focus during the coming days will be on assisting the city of Houston and University of Houston communities in recovery efforts and allowing our coaches, staff and student athletes to devote the necessary time to ensuring the safety and security of their family, friends and loved ones.”
Officials said they will explore options for rescheduling the game. Houston has an off date on Nov. 11.
The Cougars will not compete in any sports this weekend with events in cross country, volleyball and soccer also being canceled.
The storm has also forced the Houston Dash to play their scheduled home game against the Seattle Reign FC on Sunday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. Tickets to that game are $20 with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross.
The changes are the latest to hit Houston sports teams. The Astros were forced to play their series against the Texas Rangers at the home of the Tampa Bay Rays while the Texans are playing their “home” preseason game on the road against the Dallas Cowboys instead. The Rice football team hasn’t been home in days, holed up in Fort Worth on the TCU campus after a game in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets and owner Leslie Alexander upped their donation to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts to $10 million. Alexander pledged $4 million to Houston mayor Sylvester Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund on Monday before announcing that he’d donate $10 million to help flood victims.
The donation is the largest of many contributions by Houston’s sports teams and athletes in recent days. Astros owner Jim Crane and the Astros’ foundation pledged $4 million to the cause and Major League Baseball also contributed, joining with the players association to donate $1 million to the Red Cross and relief organizations chosen by the players.
The Texans and owner Bob McNair donated $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund. The NFL Foundation said it would match the $1 million donation, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family pledged to match all funds donated to the American Red Cross in support of Harvey flood relief up to $1 million.
Houston star J.J. Watt started a fundraising page online that has raised more than $3.2 million since its inception on Sunday.
The fund was given a boost by a $1 million donation from Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, who said the flooding and devastation has been painful to watch as a native. Strunk said Watt has created something to provide immediate aid and the Titans, founded in 1960 as the Houston Oilers, want to be a part of the effort to rebuild the area.
Watt’s original goal was to raise $500,000, but he’s now aiming to raise $4 million.
Denver Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who lives in Houston in the offseason and grew up in Bellville, Texas, about 60 miles west, took to Instagram to plead for donations.
“I’ve driven up and down those streets and Houston is my heart,” Sanders said. “And just to see the people out there struggling, man, I have to do something about it.”
Broncos coach Vance Joseph also weighed in on the situation in Houston, where he coached with the Texans from 2011-13.
“I’m a New Orleans guy. Obviously, Katrina was huge for the city,” he said “It’s the same effect with Houston right now. Lots of folks are out of their homes. … They need help down there and it’s heartbreaking to watch on TV.”
AP Pro Football Writers Teresa Walker and Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.