Petition to save Clemson-SC rivalry tops 2,000 signatures
|Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 5:48 PM-|
Clemson and South Carolina will not meet on a football field for the first time since 1908 without a drastic change in course.
The SEC voted last week to only play conference games -- a day after Clemson and the ACC opted to allow one non-conference game in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A South Carolina official said subsequently that they were the only SEC school to vote against their league's measure. One petition to save the rivalry's 2020 meeting is up over 2,000 signatures now.
"This game has been played annually without skipping a beat since 1909," the protest organizer started. "Previous generations played through the Spanish Flu, Great Depression, WW2, Vietnam, and more recently 9/11. Many South Carolinians grew up with this being the highlight of our year, bragging rights, and a sense of pride.
"The streak is important, I dare say sacred. If we let it die, what does that say about us? My great grandfather's brother was Stumpy Banks. He was the starting running back and captain of Clemson's football team in 1918. In the middle of the Spanish Flu in 1918 he played half the season, entered the Army during WW1, and then came back to finish out the 1919 season as the captain again. This is who we are.
"I suggest we come together and solve this before it's too late. We are two very different universities, in two different conferences, but we are in the same state. Let's not be the generation that sits back and says, there's always next year. This is undoubtedly the most important year ever. It's not about winning, it's about playing together."
Sen. Lindsey Graham said the game's one-year stoppage was "unacceptable" earlier this week.
"I'm going to call and object," he said. "I can't make them do anything they don't want to do, but I think I'm speaking for a lot of people that want to see football between Clemson and South Carolina.
"If you're going to play football, play football in a way that makes sense and to me it doesn't make sense to stop the Clemson-South Carolina game if you're going to play other games."
Clemson holds a 71-42-4 all-time series edge on South Carolina.