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The South Carolina Gamecocks represent the University of South Carolina in the NCAA Division I. This unique moniker is held in honor of Thomas Sumter, a Revolutionary War hero from South Carolina who was nicknamed the “Carolina Gamecock” after British General Banastre Tarleton said Sumter “combated like a gamecock.” While the men’s groups were typically referred to as the Fighting Gamecocks and the ladies’s groups were formerly called the Lady Gamecocks, this distinction was ceased in part to remove any gender bias in the athletic department and in part to counter misconceptions about the gamecock mascot backing bloodsport.
All the University’s varsity teams compete at the Division I level of the NCAA, and all however guys’s soccer and ladies’s beach volleyball compete in the Southeastern Conference. Men’s soccer competes in Conference USA and females’s beach volley ball competes in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association because the SEC does not sponsor those sports.
South Carolina generally calls itself “Carolina,” “USC,” or “SC” in sports, causing some confusion with the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Southern California Trojans. Sports networks often utilize the abbreviation “SCAR”.
hathroughout their protection of Gamecocks sports; nevertheless, some, such as ESPN or Yahoo! Sports, use “SC”.
The athletic department is supported with personal money from the Gamecock Club. It was initially formed as the B.A.M. (” Buck-A-Month”) Club in 1939 and 1940 to benefit the athletic programs from independently raised funds.
The university’s athletic programs have earned 10 national team titles and produced lots of Olympians. Tim Brando (previously of CBS Sports) was quoted as saying, “You will not discover any more devoted fans in the country than those who follow the South Carolina Gamecocks.”