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One of the most iconic live mascots in college sports finds itself in the middle of a controversy that has its future in question.
The 20-plus year run for Sir Big Spur, the live mascot for South Carolina, may be coming to an end. You’re probably thinking that this has something to do with some animal rights activists trying to cancel the school’s live mascot, but that actually isn’t the case.
What we have here is a trademark dispute as well as a disagreement about the rooster’s comb over.
The live mascot has been known as Sir Big Spur for quite some time now, but the trademark contract expired on August 1. At this time there doesn’t seem to be a huge push to bring it back, according to The Post and Courier.
On top of that, the rooster has a new owner and there is a dispute about its comb over. The comb over is the red crest on top of the bird’s head that stretches under the beak and it’s used as an “air conditioner” to keep the rooster cool.
The previous owners clipped the comb over off to make it look more like the Gamecocks’ logo. The new owners, the Clarks, want to keep the comb over on the bird which is, in turn, breaking a tradition that dates back beyond 20 years.
Snelling and Abertelli, the previous owners, are willing to give the Clark’s permission to use the ‘Sir Big Spur’ name if they clip the comb over, but the Clarks don’t want to do that.
There have been so many questions about the future of the live rooster that the school has had to step in. South Carolina‘s Chief Marketing Officer Eric Nichols has come to the conclusion that the two sides are “stuck.”
South Carolina kicks off its season against Georgia State on September 3, so time isn’t on its side. At the moment it sounds like there’s a change Sir Big Spur may not be in attendance for that game.
At the end of the day, we’re talking about something that has absolutely zero effect on South Carolina’s football team. But, while wins and losses are the most important thing in college football, traditions are a very close second.