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Numerous Utah college athletic programs, players take part in raising money for Houston relief efforts


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As Hurricane Harvey continues to do severe damage in Texas, a number of Utah college programs and athletes have publicly pledged help to the affected area.

On Tuesday, BYU football special teams players Corey Edwards, Jonny Linehan, Matt Foley, Andrew Mikkelsen, Rhett Almond and Mitch Harris posted a video on Twitter indicating they had pooled $100 to donate to the JJ Watt Foundation and to challenge the specialists around the country, and especially of their next three opponents, to do the same.

Noting that their game this weekend against LSU had to be moved from Houston to New Orleans because of Harvey, the Cougar players called on the Tigers, Utah Utes and Wisconsin Badgers specialists to donate.

"We know that football is just a game, and this is much more, and, Houston, we want you to know that our prayers and thoughts are with you," Harris said.

Watt, the star defensive end for the Houston Texans, set up a relief fund on Sunday with an initial goal of $200,000. On Tuesday afternoon, he raised the goal to $3 million after the fund had surpassed $2 million.

Elsewhere, former BYU basketball guard LJ Rose, a Houston native who lives there now, has set up a GoFundMe page, with proceeds going to help the victims.

Also on Tuesday, SUU head men's basketball coach Todd Simon tweeted that his program would be donating to an effort spearheaded by University of Houston head men's hoops coach Kelvin Sampson encouraging collegiate sports programs to each give 20 shirts and 10 pairs of shoes.

Later in the day, the University of Utah men's basketball team also announced via Twitter that it will be donating to Sampson's cause.

Additionally, the Utah gymnastics team tweeted a video of sophomore Shannon McNatt, a Houston native, sending her best wishes to the people in her hometown.

The Utes football team also held a moment of silence at practice Monday for those in Houston.