BREAKING: All athletic events this weekend canceled
University of Houston officials announced Tuesday that all athletic activities happening over the upcoming weekend have been cancelled or postponed due the unprecedented flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, including football’s match at UTSA on Saturday.
Volleyball, cross-country, soccer and football all had events scheduled but will now be sidelined in the wake of Harvey.
In all, seven events are canceled across the four sports, including the postponement of football’s highly-anticipated season opener against the UTSA Roadrunners in San Antonio.
“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,” Vice President for Athletics Hunter Yurachek said in a news release.
“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.”
According to an email sent to all UH students, the teams plan to play on Dec. 2, unless the Cougars are part of the AAC Championship Game. If that occurs, the game will be canceled again.
The postponement comes at the request of Houston, which has been practicing in Austin at the University of Texas since Aug. 26.
Head coach Major Applewhite says that with the number of weather-related deaths and devastation in Houston, it does not make sense to play a football game.
“Houston is across our chest for a reason. It’s our city,” Applewhite said. “There is a lot of people on our team from our city, and we need to help not only our immediate family, our players and our players’ families, but go back to give to a city who has given a lot to us. Let’s concentrate our efforts there. We will get to our season. Patience is a virtue, and we need to have patience as a ball club or a coaching staff. We’ll get to the football game.”
In addition to the thousands of UH students and faculty that have been affected, more than 4,200 UTSA students call Harvey-affected counties home.
Volleyball was scheduled to travel to Fairfax, Virginia for the George Mason Invitational. Among the canceled games are Saturday’s tilts with George Mason University and Pennsylvania as well as Sunday’s matchup against Central Michigan.
The team has remained in Arlington since competing in the UTA Invitational last weekend. Volleyball is 1-2 on the season.
Soccer would have played a pair of games against SEC opponents at Mississippi State and LSU. The Cougars have now had three consecutive matches canceled due to Harvey — last Sunday’s game against Rice was canceled as well.
Cross country was supposed to compete in their first race of the season in the HBU season opener but will stay at home to recover from Harvey.
President Renu Khator said the time off provided by the storm should be spent on focusing on the well-being of families and neighbors. She said she hopes to see UH athletes answer the call of duty in Houston recovery efforts.
“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,” she said.