Memphis helping Nicholls State football team while campus recovers from Ida

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 6:04 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 7:12 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This past week, the University of Memphis (UofM) and the City of Memphis embodied good ol’ fashioned Southern hospitality.

Just over a week after Hurricane Ida made landfall on the Gulf Coast, communities are still recovering from the storm.

Like much of Louisiana, towns and parishes are still left damaged and without power, including Thibodaux, home of Nicholls State University.

“There was a time last week where we didn’t know what we were doing after the game, where we were going to go, because we didn’t want to go back to Thibodaux without electricity,” said Colonels head football coach, Tim Rebowe.

What Rebowe told us next was shortly after the game against Memphis on Saturday. Tiger’s head coach Ryan Silverfield called him over.

“Coach Silverfield, after the game, handed us an envelope and said that the players, the Memphis football players, collected money out of their own pockets to give to our players while they were here,” Rebowe said.

“They collected several thousand dollars in that process,” said UofM deputy athletics director, Jeff Crane.

Nicholls State’s team of over 100 players, coaches, and staff arrived in Memphis last Wednesday, needing a place to practice for the game against the Tigers.

Crane said UofM opened its facilities to Nicholls State and is continuing to allow them to practice there in anticipation for their game this coming Saturday against UL-Lafayette.

On top of that, a host of Memphis businesses and organizations opened their doors and wallets, like The Life Church, giving the team free lunch every day during their stay.

“FedEx has stepped up, our friends from the Tennessee Titans have stepped up,” Rebowe said. “Everybody’s trying to help out as much as they can.”

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“Those are the things that make college sports special, the sportsmanship, the camaraderie, and the willingness to step up and help,” Crane said.

Crane says Memphis is a special city, and it’s times like this when we can show that to our neighbors, like Nicholls State.

“We are in good shape here,” Rebowe said. “We got a roof over our heads. We’ve got air conditioning. We’ve got three meals a day. Our people back home are the ones that are suffering.”

The Nicholls State team will be at The Life Church’s location on Austin Peay Highway to fill care packages that will be sent down to Thibodaux.

Rebowe says they are expecting to be back on campus in late September.

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