Sir Big Spur is the name of the rooster who has attended University of South Carolina athletics events since 1999. Actually there have been six Sir Big Spurs, who have been brought to games by Mary Snelling, and her husband, Ron Albertelli.
An article in The Post and Courier discusses their anger over Beth and Van Clark, who have succeeded them in providing a rooster. They use roosters with their combs, a red crest on the rooster's head.
“We raised these gamecocks to be mascots. The mascot needs to be, I feel, branded with the university,” Van Clark said. “We also want the birds to be as healthy as possible. When the combs are off, they can’t handle heat as well."
But Albertelli said: "A chicken is a chicken but a fighting gamecock is something different. This is dumbing down the Gamecocks….. “I don’t know what culture in our day and age means, but if it means making a gamecock look like a chicken, or not hurting him because it might make the chicken feel good, it’s not preserving what we’ve built. This is dumbing down our culture.”
The university is permitting the Clarks to use the roosters with their combs. But they will need a new name. Snelling and Albertelli own the name Sir Big Spur and they are not giving it up.