Consider this your “Gamecocks History” online textbook. It will be periodically updated, and if you’d like to add anything to it, just shoot us an email at [email protected]
First and foremost comes the important topics of “USC” and “Carolina”, monickers and abreviations used for Southern California, the Gamecocks and North Carolina. (Disclaimer: This article refers just to major American Universities with major sports programs. I’m sure there’s other colleges I’ve never heard of that are referred to as USC or Carolina). All fans of all of those teams should be able to call those teams whatever they want. Carolina is the most common way to refer to UNC. USC is the most common way to refer to Southern Cal. We get it in Columbia. We’d just like to point out a few things.
First and foremost, there’s no debate that USC was South Carolina’s abbreviation before Southern Cal’s. Way before.
South Carolina College, as the University was formerly called, was founded decades before California was a state. Even though it became a university and switched names to the University of South Carolina, that version of the institution existed before Southern Cal became a college, too. It’s all online. Feel free to look it up.
The Carolina monicker is much harder to claim, though. UNC is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the country, and was founded way before South Carolina was. Like in the 18th century.
BUT: The state of South Carolina was the 8th admitted to the Union. North Carolina was the 12th. THUS: The first state in the Union that could call itself Carolina was of the Southern variety.
Now, SC and NC entering the union happened much closer together on America’s timeline than UNC and USC becoming schools, so beat me up over that if you want to, but technicalities are technicalities, and technically SC, as a state, was Carolina first.
But this is just a silly history lesson (the first of many). Seriously, Southern Cal has earned the right for its fans to call it whatever they want to. They have way more trophies in their shiny glass cases than Carolina does. Same goes for UNC.
Still… The University of South Carolina will always be the first USC, and the state of South Carolina will always be the first Carolina.