Texas, Louisiana schools dealing with Harvey's wrath
(STATS) - It didn't come as a surprise when Texas Southern's Michael Haywood was absent for the SWAC's weekly coaches conference call on Monday.
Texas Southern's campus is located in Houston, which continues to be ravaged by the rain and historic flooding of Hurricane Harvey.
The Tigers were losing their season opener at Florida A&M this past Saturday while Harvey was initially delivering its catastrophic destruction. They're supposed to host Prairie View A&M for their SWAC opener this weekend, but the conference couldn't say Monday whether that game will go on as scheduled.
A number of college football programs near the southeast coast of Texas and in southwestern Louisiana have been impacted by the hurricane. In addition to Texas Southern and nearby Prairie View, FCS schools affected the most are Houston Baptist, Lamar (Beaumont, Texas), Sam Houston State (Huntsville, Texas) and McNeese (Lake Charles, Louisiana) from the Southland Conference.
Southern coach Dawson Odums, whose school is located in Baton Rouge, spoke on the same SWAC conference call that Haywood missed about his Houston-area players getting updates from family and friends back home. Some of the family members are the among the thousands who are being displaced from their homes.
"They're like, 'Coach, our family's doing good, everybody's healthy, everybody's alive.' And when they're dealing with something as bad as what they're dealing with in Houston, just hearing that fact that they're alive is a sigh of relief," Odums said.
With the hurricane putting life into perspective, few people are fazed by what's happening to the early season schedules of so many sports teams in the region. A number of schools have canceled classes through Tuesday or Wednesday, with further assessments going on.
Sam Houston's No. 3-ranked football team was supposed to host No. 7 Richmond in a big intersectional matchup Sunday evening, but it was postponed. Lamar canceled its annual football banquet this past Saturday.
McNeese was able to practice on Monday, but only because it got help from an old rival, Louisiana-Lafayette, which opened up its indoor football facility for a practice.