Hurricane Florence made landfall on Friday as a Category 1 storm, and it will continue to batter the Carolinas and surrounding areas throughout the weekend. The storm’s threat caused numerous cancelations and postponements of college football games region.
Since the storm affects so many college programs and their communities, it’s good to see neighboring schools lending kind gestures.
“We immediately gave up our hotel rooms so that rooms are now available for those coming inland,” Colgate head coach Dan Hunt said after his team’s game against Furman was canceled. “We still bought the meals we were going to have and requested that the hotel serve those meals to the people who have been relocated, on us.”
Tennessee announced it is giving out free tickets to storm evacuees for Saturday’s game against UTEP.
“One of our four pillars is warmth,” Vols athletic director Phillip Fulmer said, “and we feel this is an appropriate way to bring that to life. Certainly, a football game is relatively insignificant in comparison to the realities these evacuees are facing. But if we can provide just a few hours of distraction and normalcy for these families, I believe we should.”
A Chick-fil-A in Knoxville will be donating chicken biscuits for evacuees who claim tickets to the game.
Additional schools offering free admission to storm evacuees include Florida for the Gators’ game against Colorado State, Virginia for its home game against Ohio, and Kennesaw State, which plays Alabama State on Saturday.
Teams from other sports are lending support, too.
The Atlanta Falcons, team owner Arthur Blank, and MLS’ Atlanta United pledged $1 million in storm relief:
The grant will be split between the American Red Cross of Georgia and Greater Carolinas Region, as well as the United Way, to assist rebuilding and recovery efforts during hurricane season.
Give Back to Others is one of six core values of the Blank Family of Businesses with the understanding that together, we can have a larger collective impact. Millions of people across the region are expected to be impacted by storm damage this year. Blank, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and both clubs will also use their network of platforms to actively promote helping with relief efforts.
It’s reassuring to see programs banding together to provide support.
Last fall, multiple college programs sprang into action in an effort started by Houston basketball coach Kelvin Sampson. Numerous pro athletes, most notably JJ Watt, donated to support the recovery effort, too.
As the weekend passes, let’s hope the sporting community continues to rally for the area.