NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — As Rutgers Country gears up for another football season on the banks, residents of Texas and Louisiana are dealing with more pressing concerns.
Hurricane Harvey ripped through the Gulf Coast region over the past week, booting more than a million people from their homes and killing at least 46, according to reports. Weather experts have described the storm as “unprecedented,” and one radio reporter who covered Superstorm Sandy said Harvey was similar to that catastrophe—if it raged for five straight days.
So, despite excitement for the Scarlet Knights' upcoming season, tonight's opener against the Washington Huskies won't be entirely about football.
Rutgers Athletics plans to collect clothing donations prior to the 8 p.m. game at High Point Solutions Stadium. Drop-off bins will be available at the north, south, east and west stadium gates, soliciting new and gently-used clothing and shoes from fans, according to Rutgers.
“Our heart goes out to the countless individuals who have suffered loss as a result of Hurricane Harvey,” Athletics Director Pat Hobbs said in a statement. “Everyone here in New Jersey understands full well the challenges those folks in Texas are dealing with. It is important that we come together to support the affected communities.”
To that end, Rutgers will partner with the University of Houston's athletics department to distribute the items throughout the Lone Star State.
Beyond the satisfaction of a good deed, fans will get something material in return.
Adidas, the school's new apparel partner, plans to give away “War Before the Shore” towels—the nickname of tonight's game—to the first 5,000 fans, according to Rutgers. The first 2,000 folks in the student section, meanwhile, will receive a pair of sunglasses and a Rutgers football tank top made by Adidas.