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University of Houston football players donated their own money for flood relief

via @Joseph_Duarte

No one asked, but on Tuesday University of Houston athletic officials suddenly had 24 cases of water paid for by UH football players, who were trying to figure out how to get them to Houston flood victims.

When flood conditions cancelled classes for the second day in a row this week at the University of Houston, junior offensive tackle Na'Ty Rodgers and his girlfriend started to think about how they could help.

"I was with my girlfriend Andrea and she came up with the idea to start donating water," he said. "I hit up some guys on the team for a couple bucks and we started buying cases."

Thirteen UH players chipped in on the initial cash donation, and of that group eight players -- Rodgers, Greg Ward, Marcus Oliver, Keisland Smalls, Terry Mark, Cedric Edwards, Caeman Mayfield and Alex Myres -- bought cases of water at local grocery stores.

"It wasn't a lot of money, like maybe 10 bucks a person at least."

The effort was purely player driven -- Houston football coaches are out recruiting and UH officials didn't learn about the water drive until the group showed up at the campus alumni center with 24 cases.

Rodgers said most UH players weren't immediately affected by the floodwater, since most live on or near the campus in the southeastern area inside the Interstate 610 loop, where only a few streets have flooded. The worst of the flooding has been far away from UH, in the north and west areas of the city.

Rodgers is a Maryland native and a junior college transfer. He's only been in Houston since February, and has never witnessed a flood before.

"We get snow in Maryland, that's about it," he said. "But you never know when you're going to be the person who needs help. If I was just a regular person who moved here a few months ago and this flood happened to me, I would want someone to come help. We just figured it was a good thing to do."

On Thursday a new band of storms moved across the greater Houston area, where seven people have been killed and an estimated 1,200 people have been rescued from rising water.

To match the $10 donation from Houston football players, you can donate directly to relief efforts at the Houston / Gulf Coast Region chapter of the American Red Cross.