AUSTIN, Texas (AP)The No. 3 Texas Longhorns will host DePaul in a preseason exhibition game on Sunday with all ticket sales going to help the city of Uvalde build a new school after the May shooting at Robb Elementary where a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.
The NCAA allows schools to schedule public exhibition games if they’re used to support a charity event for social justice issues or to support recovery efforts from a catastrophic event.
”Sometimes you feel helpless, wanting to help somebody,” Texas coach Vic Schaefer said. ”I felt like this might be an opportunity for us as a university, as an athletic department and my program to really reach out.”
Schaefer has pledged to donate $1,000 for every 1,000 fans who attend, and he’d like at least 10,000 tickets sold. Money raised will go to the Uvalde CISD Moving Forward Foundation.
”I’m really begging and pleading for our community to come out, to do as much as we can to be a part of helping them rebuild and heal,” said Schaefer, a Texan who noted as of Wednesday there were 3,000 tickets sold.
The game also will be televised on the Longhorn Network.
”It is for a good cause and it’s always special to be able to help out like this, especially with the tragic event that happened,” said Texas guard Sonya Morris, who transferred from DePaul after last season. ”We want to have a lot of fans come out and help us make an impact and spread awareness.”
Robb Elementary is permanently closed and was slated to be demolished. Uvalde officials decided that students and families would not return to the site of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
Schaefer said he thought about an exhibition while he attending a basketball event in Chicago this summer and approached DePaul coach Doug Bruno about the idea.
Bruno quickly accepted, saying he was honored Schaefer invited his team.
”Unfortunately, the Uvalde tragedy could have happened anywhere,” Bruno said. ”As citizens of the greatest country in the world, we have an obligation to work to end all violence, including gun violence.”
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll