After spending time in Australia to play a football game against Stanford, the Rice Owls are currently displaced from their home as flood waters from Hurricane Harvey continue to pose problems in and around the Houston area. Unable to return home, Rice has instead opted to accept shelter from TCU after a handful of programs extended their helping hands to a program in need.
“I want to thank the staffs at TCU, SMU, Baylor and UTEP who all reached out to offer whatever help we needed,” Rice head coach David Bailiff said in a statement. “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 the safety of these players. We learned some lessons in 2008 about coming home too soon.”
Bailiff was referring to 2008 when Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area while the Owls were on the road to play Vanderbilt. When Rice returned home from that game, Houston was already flooded and coaches were making arrangements to host players and families in need of a place to stay, and many players struggled to even make contact with their family right away. There is no real game plan you can roll out when something like this happens to a football program, but experience in the worst conditions comes in handy in a time like this.
As far as football is concerned, it can be on the back burners entirely this week as Houston recovers from the storm. Rice is off this week, allowing the focus to solely remain on the recovery efforts in the community. Rice’s next game will be on September 9 on the road at UTEP. Rice is scheduled to play at Houston on September 16 and host FIU on September 23.