COLUMBIA, S.C. – In keeping with how University of South Carolina Athletics became known as the Gamecocks, the department’s live mascot will now be known as The General in homage to Revolutionary War General Thomas Sumter, whose nickname “Fighting Gamecock” created the original moniker for Athletics, according to a press release.

“We know Gamecock fans are passionate about our traditions and seeing the live mascot at games and other Athletics events is something they look forward to,” South Carolina Deputy Athletics Director Eric Nichols said. “When we realized that we would have to change his name to keep that tradition alive, it seemed fitting to go back to where ‘Gamecocks’ got started.”

South Carolina’s live mascot has been a staple at Gamecock football and baseball games for nearly two decades, and The General will continue to represent the Athletics Department through a partnership with new owners Beth and Van Clark. A dispute about the care of the rooster between the Clarks and its previous owners yielded the withholding of the name “Sir Big Spur,” which neither the University nor the Athletics Department owned the rights to.

In deciding on the new name, the Athletics Department worked with the Clarks, internal staff and even reviewed fan suggestions on social media. With the University’s legal department discouraging keeping any part of the previous name in the new one, the Gamecocks chose to honor their original namesake and give the live mascot the name The General.

When football season starts next Saturday, The General will have not just a new name, but a new perch as well. The Athletics Department and the Clarks are creating a ‘C’ for The General to sit, somewhat replicating the South Carolina Block C logo.

The General is set for his first appearance of the 2022-23 athletic season at the South Carolina football season opener against Georgia State on Sat., Sept. 3, at 7:30 p.m.