NCAA regulations reportedly prevented the University of Houston basketball program from delivering donations the program collected for Hurricane Harvey victims.
Houston coach Kelvin Sampson did his part to aid in the relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey by asking coaches from far and near to donate t-shirts and shoes to victims. Sampson intended on compiling the donations and delivering them to victims of the storm, but NCAA regulations reportedly initially him from doing just that, reports KHOU.
“They don’t want us sending all this nice gear to the top recruit in Houston," Lauren Dubois, senior associate athletics director for UH, told KHOU. "But, obviously that is not our intention at all.”
Dubois told KHOU that the university risks punishment if they are foudn to have delivered the supplies to recruits, their families or youth leagues. Houston has determined that isn't worth the risk, so the program has reached out to accredited charities and asked them to facilitate the donations.
“When you do something out of the goodness of your heart, when you have so many people around you helping, it’s not hard," Sampson told KHOU.
Houston has applied for for a legislative relief waiver, which would relax the guidelines around Houston's potential donations. According to KHOU, the NCAA has yet to rule on the application.
Houston-area athletic figures have done their part to aid in the Harvey relief efforts, led by J.J. Watt—the Texans star has raised for than $30 million for victims of the storm, which caused massive damage to Houston.
Update: The NCAA tweeted the following message: We encouraged schools to do what's best to help hurricane survivors. As we told AAC Thursday, Houston can give donations to anyone in need.