South Carolina Football: Rival Media Out of Touch with Reality

The Clemson Tigers baseball team was swept and trolled by UCF this weekend. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: Greenville News.
The Clemson Tigers baseball team was swept and trolled by UCF this weekend. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: Greenville News. /

Without a doubt, there is a big-time rivalry in the Palmetto State. However, this is not limited to just South Carolina football vs. Clemson football. As a whole, South Carolina athletics and Gamecock Nation have no love lost for that team from the Upstate. The feeling is mutual, and that is part of what makes the rivalry great.

For years, though, the disdain for the orange and white has not been limited to the field or court. South Carolina Gamecock fans have grown to dislike the media that covers their rivals almost as much as the teams themselves. One would think that a high-performing athletic department like Clemson would be covered better.

To be clear: this criticism of the media does not extend to everyone who covers Clemson. In fact, there are some good ones. FanSided’s team at Rubbing the Rock, on3’s Matt Connolly, and a handful of others should not be lumped into this group.

It also should be mentioned that every school has a group within their media (credentialed or otherwise) who behave this way, and those individuals should face criticism. The Gamecocks have a small number of people who cover the team in an unofficial capacity that certainly fit this bill, as well. However, there seems to be a disconnect from reality for a disproportionate number who cover Graham Neff’s athletic department.

It has long been reported (off the record, of course), that multiple credentialed media members wear Clemson gear and actively cheer for the Tigers while covering athletic competitions, even while in the press box at football games or while working in other media areas. This is a big “No-No” in the journalism world. Then, there is also the issue of the inflated (and, frankly, almost creepy) view that some hold of the university and its athletic department.

In an article that won’t be linked because it doesn’t deserve to see the light of day, a Clemson fan site demanded that the UCF Knights baseball team apologize to the Clemson athletic department and fanbase for running down the hill after sweeping the Tigers in a weekend series. Normally, fan sites should be immune from critiques of “homerism,” but this one was ridiculous and indicative of a larger media issue in Pickens County.

In the article and in the social media turmoil that followed, the Knights were accused of “breaking in” to Memorial Stadium or “trespassing” or “acting like criminals.” These are baseless accusations as UCF was granted the use of the locker rooms on the property due to facility renovations.

In 2013, after back-and-forth criminal vandalism against both South Carolina and Clemson, someone damaged Howard’s Rock that sits at the top of the hill in the east end zone of Memorial Stadium. Rumors flew that a South Carolina fan was the culprit, but when the truth came out, a Clemson supporter was the actual vandal. Clemson University’s official announcement came out regarding the damage without including any mention of what really happened to Howard’s Rock.

Social media teams, especially in sports, are notorious for not updating when things aren’t going well. However, Clemson seems to take this to a higher level. GamecockCentral’s Wes Mitchell (accurately) reported that the Tigers’ official media team has not updated their Palmetto Series scoreboard since November 26th. What happened on that day? The Gamecocks traveled to Clemson and knocked off the Tigers.

Since November began, South Carolina has also beaten Clemson at men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and baseball to complete a sweep of the “Big Four” sports. Since the football victory, Carolina has also bested their rival in hockey and men’s tennis, but Clemson’s official university-run website has not been updated since they made an announcement prior to the football game that the matchup was sold out, an announcement complete with an incorrect date for the game.

In what is called the Palmetto Series or Palmetto Cup, South Carolina and Clemson “compete” in a year-long battle that encompasses the entirety of the two athletic departments. When the two teams play in any sport, the winner gets a “point.” Since the Series began, the Gamecocks have won each year to the tune of a 4-0 record, and they lead the 2022-2023 series. Luckily for the Tigers, there is no point awarded for media performance.

Watch: Clemson Trolled by UCF After Knights Sweep Tigers. light. Related Story