South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina Gamecocks

Infobox college athletics
name = South Carolina Gamecocks

university = University of South Carolina
conference = Southeastern Conference | division = Division I
director = Eric Hyman
city = Columbia
state = South Carolina
stateabb = SC
teams = 19
stadium = Williams-Brice Stadium
arena = Colonial Life Arena
baseballfield = Sarge Frye Field
arena2 = Eugene E. Stone III Stadium (soccer)
Beckham Field (softball)
mascot = Cocky
nickname = Gamecocks
fightsong = [http://www.sc.edu/usc/fightsong.html "The Fighting Gamecocks Lead the Way"]
color1 = Garnet
color2 = Black
hex1 = 8C2633
hex2 = 000000
pageurl = http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/
pagename = www.gamecocksonline.com

The University of South Carolina's 19 varsity sports teams are known as the Gamecocks, and USC is the only Division I school to use this nickname/mascot. While the men have traditionally been the Fighting Gamecocks and the women were previously the Lady Gamecocks, this distinction was discontinued.

All of the University's varsity teams compete at the Division I level of the NCAA, and all but men's soccer compete in the Southeastern Conference. [ [http://uscsports.cstv.com/trads/scar-history.html University of South Carolina Official Athletic Site - Traditions ] ] Men's soccer competes in Conference USA because the SEC does not sponsor men's soccer.

The official school colors are garnet and black. However, some officially licensed merchandise also contain gold, which represents the spurs historically worn by gamecocks in cockfights. The colors of garnet and black were chosen by the family of Dr. J. William Flinn when they presented a banner composed of those colors to the football team in November 1895. There was no definite act of adoption of the colors, but an unsuccessful attempt was made shortly after 1900 to change the colors. [cite book | first = Edwin Luther | last = Green | title = History of the University of South Carolina | year = 1916 | publisher = The State Company | pages = p. 460]

The athletics department is supported with private money from the Gamecock Club. It was originally formed as the B.A.M. ("Buck-A-Month") Club in 1939 and 1940 to benefit the athletics programs from privately raised funds. [cite book | first = Henry H. | last = Lesesne | title = A History of the University of South Carolina, 1940-2000 | year = 2001 | publisher = University of South Carolina Press | pages = p. 66] According to a publication by the Gamecock Club, USC ranks #8 (out of 12) in the SEC in raising funds for the athletics department. [ [http://www.cstv.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/scar/genrel/auto_pdf/gamecock-club-magazine-0207 University of South Carolina Official Athletic Site - University of South Carolina ] ] Although the University's varsity teams have won only a few national titles, many league championships and tournament titles have been won over the years. Tim Brando of CBS Sports has said, "You won't find any more loyal fans in the country than those who follow the South Carolina Gamecocks." [http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/scar/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/05mg1-recruiting1.pdf, p. 17]

For many years, USC has called itself simply "Carolina" in athletics, much as North Carolina has done.

Conference History

The University of South Carolina was a member of the Southern Conference for men's basketball and football from 1922 until it became a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953. The Gamecocks, however, left the ACC in 1971 after many disputes over the ACC's recruiting regulations and the political dominance of the conference's four North Carolina schools. USC then competed as an independent until 1983 when it joined the Metro Conference for all sports except football (which the Metro did not sponsor) and men's soccer. In 1991, the Gamecocks joined the Southeastern Conference when it increased its membership to 12 schools and split into two divisions, adding the University of Arkansas to its Western Division and the University of South Carolina to its Eastern Division. Men's soccer continued to compete as an independent since the SEC does not sponsor men's soccer, but joined the Metro Conference for the 1993 and 1994 seasons and has competed in Conference USA since 2005. [ [http://uscsports.cstv.com/trads/scar-history.html University of South Carolina Official Athletic Site - Traditions ] ]

Rivalries

Carolina's foremost rival is Clemson University. The two institutions are separated by just over 125 miles and have been bitter rivals since Clemson's founding in 1889. A heated rivalry continues to this day for a variety of reasons, including the historic tensions regarding their respective charters along with the passions surrounding their athletic programs. The annual Carolina-Clemson football game is the longest uninterrupted series in the South and the third longest uninterrupted series overall, first being played in 1896 (four years after South Carolina's inaugural season), and having been played every year since 1909. [ [http://www.ncaa.org/library/records/football/football_records_book/2006/2006_d1_football_records_book.pdf NCAA football records] , p. 111.] Their baseball programs consistently qualify for the NCAA playoffs and frequently earn berths to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

When Carolina was a member of the ACC, there was an intense rivalry with the University of North Carolina, particularly in basketball since Frank McGuire had coached UNC but moved to Columbia to coach the Gamecocks. The rivalry was renewed in football during the 2007 season, with the Gamecocks defeating the Tar Heels 21-15.

UNC and the University of Southern California use nicknames that are also used by the University of South Carolina. For example, UNC is sometimes called "Carolina" while Southern California is sometimes called "USC". Sharing nicknames with these schools is an untapped source of rivalry and a rarely exploited opportunity to market competitions with each other. [ [http://therealcarolina.wordpress.com/ The Real Carolina ] ]

On the other hand, Carolina continues to develop rivalries with other members of the SEC's Eastern Division, which many regard as the most competitive in all of college sports. The "Halloween Game" pitting the Gamecocks against the University of Tennessee has the potential to be a big football game every year, and of course a rivalry is brewing with the University of Florida since the Gamecocks hired Steve Spurrier, Florida's former head football coach. However, Carolina's main SEC rival has been the University of Georgia due to its proximity and the many years of competition before the Gamecocks joined the SEC.

Championships

The Gamecocks have won six national team championships: 2002 NCAA championship in women's track & field, 2005 & 2007 National Championship in women's equestrian, and 2005-2007 Hunt Seat National Championships in women's equestrian. Also, the men's and women's track & field teams have produced "many" NCAA individual champions, world championship medalists, and Olympic medalists. The men's baseball and basketball teams have also produced Olympic medalists. Other significant accomplishments include: 2005 NCAA runner-up in women's track & field; NCAA runner-up three times in baseball (2002, 1977, 1975); 1993 NCAA runner-up in men's soccer; and 2005 & 2006 NIT championships in men's basketball.

ee also

*South Carolina Gamecocks football
*South Carolina Gamecocks men's basketball

Footnotes

External links

* [http://michigan-football.com/ncaa/f/scarolin.htm Past and present football team's schedules and results]


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