As the city of Houston and its surrounding areas continue to be battered with rain as Hurricane Harvey lingers, good Texans across the state have stepped up in a myriad ways to help our neighbors. One such instance is happening right here in Fort Worth, as the Frogs opened their doors to the Rice Owls Football team for the foreseeable future.
Ready to set up temporary shop w/@TCUFootball while counting down to our return to South Main.— Rice Football (@RiceFootball) August 28, 2017
Sports are on little consequence in the big picture, but there are some legitimate issues surrounding the football program at Rice University and several others. For the Owls, things were especially difficult, as they left for a game against Stanford in Australia prior to the storm making landfall and arrived back stateside with nowhere to go. After staying a night in Southern California, the Owls took the Frogs up on their offer to serve as a home away from home, as TCU was one of several schools to open their arms and their doors to the University.
“For us, it’s a no-brainer,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “Whatever we’ve got to do, we’re going to try to do to the best of our abilities. We’ll come up with a lot better answers once they hit the ground, get settled, we can start working out how we can get them taken care of, get them to practice, how they practice, all the other things off their mind a little bit. I’m sure it’ll be a process as far as making sure we get everything taken care of.”
TCU has scores of players from the Houston area on their roster, and current Rice Head Coach David Bailiff served as an assistant under Gary Patterson early on in his tenure in Fort Worth. Furthermore, Bailiff was hired by Chris Del Conte to be the head coach when CDC was the AD at Rice.
“It’ll give them a chance to get here, get their legs under them, see what’s happening in Houston and assess what they need to do moving forward,” TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte. “While they’re here, we’ll treat them like family and make sure they have all the things necessary at their disposal to make their transition as smooth as possible.”
TCU is preparing for their opener, against Jackson State at home, while the Owls are coming off a loss to Stanford in Australia. Rice has a bye this weekend before taking on UTEP on the road on September 9th.
Bailiff said: “I want to thank the staffs at TCU, SMU, Baylor and UTEP, who all reached out to offer whatever help we needed. There is a strong brotherhood in the coaching world, and it is never more evident than at times like these. While we would love to be coming home today, our first responsibility is to the safety of these players.”
It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like for the players and coaches, feeling so helpless while halfway across the globe in Australia. Not knowing if your families, your home, your stuff, would make it through the weekend is a lot to process, and football seems so small in comparison. It makes me proud that TCU stepped up to try and eliminate even just a small worry and give a home to the program, for the time being.
“Anyone in the state of Texas is family when in need,” Del Conte said. “You just put down whatever you’re doing right now and do what you can to help.”
If you have not donated to Hurricane Harvey relief, you can do so easily by texting “HARVEY” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross, or better yet, go to www.redcross.com and avoid the fees. Let’s do our part, as well, Frog Fam.