Schools decide not to burn mascots at rallies because of beach fire

Updated: November 13, 2007, 7:22 PM ET
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina announced Tuesday it will not hold its traditional "Tigerburn" pep rally before its football game with archrival Clemson because of a beach fire that killed seven of the schools' students last month.

The rally at which students burn a massive papier-mache Clemson Tiger has been a tradition at South Carolina for four decades, but students felt it wasn't right to hold the ceremony so soon after the Oct. 28 fire in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., that killed six University of South Carolina students and one Clemson student, University of South Carolina spokesman Russ McKinney said.

The student groups who help run the pep rally scheduled for Nov. 23 haven't decided what to do instead, McKinney said.

Clemson has canceled its own ceremony where students hold a mock funeral and burn in effigy "Cocky," the University of South Carolina's gamecock mascot. Instead, the students will hold a pep rally that organizers are calling "Fowl Fest."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press