Houston's season-opening football game against UTSA has been postponed because of the continuing impact of Hurricane Harvey, the school announced Tuesday.
The Cougars were scheduled to play the Roadrunners at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, but the team was displaced in recent days as the city of Houston took on record rainfall and catastrophic flooding. The Cougars' other fall sports events scheduled for this weekend in volleyball, soccer and cross country also have been postponed.
The teams will explore the possibility of rescheduling the game at a later date, the school said.
"Everyone in our university community, including our student-athletes, coaches and their staff, has been impacted by this incredible storm. This is a time for all of us to focus on the well-being of our families and neighbors and the recovery of the Houston area," Houston president and chancellor Renu Khator said. "We'll be excited to resume athletic competition, but right now our student-athletes are anxious to contribute to getting the city we love so much back on its feet again."
The football team has been staying and practicing in Austin since Saturday. It left Houston on Friday ahead of the hurricane's arrival.
"We have to take a step back," coach Major Applewhite said. "It's not about us, it's about our city. At some point everyone needs to understand what's really important. Sports are important. Sports are fun, and it's entertaining. With casualties in our city, the country's largest flood, with our families and the state of mind of our families, our players and our players' families -- it's not the right thing to do to play a game."
Applewhite noted on Monday that he canceled practice Sunday because he could tell the players' minds were on what was happening back at campus instead of football. All of the players' family members have been accounted for, Applewhite said.
Houston now will open its season on Sept. 9 at Arizona.
In the meantime, Applewhite told ESPN Radio on Tuesday night that the team is hoping to borrow 18-wheeler travel-trucks from schools in the area to help transport donations to those in need. Baylor and TCU already have offered to help.
"So we are trying to coordinate two locations in the city of Austin; one on the north side and one on the south side where we will split our team in half and anybody that shows up at those two locations with the right kind of food and the right kind of clothing that we can put on an 18-wheeler -- we are not only going to bring our team back, but we are going to bring four to six 18-wheelers back to the George R. Brown Center [in Houston] with enough items to help the families there," the coach told the Freddie and Fitz Show.
"It just shows you it's not a UH thing, it's a Texas thing. It's people having pride in wanting to help people."