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

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."