The “real” USC? The change in initials renews the debate between South Carolina and Southern California

The University of South Carolina renamed itself “USC” after being known as “UofSC” for three years. The decision has reignited an old rivalry with the University of Southern California and raises the question: “Who is the real USC?”

South Carolina was founded in 1801, almost 50 years before California became a state and almost 80 years before the founding of Southern California. But who the “real USC” is depends on who you talk to.

The University of Southern California The Barstool Sports partner said in a tweet that the “real USC” has always been in California.

“It's time to just embrace the 'of,'” the partner said another tweet.

Barstool subsidiary in South Carolina replied.

“Are we really doing this again?”

A Twitter poll from 2019 was shared. About 74% of voters said South Carolina was the “real USC.”

The three-year “UofSC” experiment did not arise from legal difficulties, as many believe. But the two schools have already fought in court.

West Coast USC filed a trademark lawsuit against East Coast USC in the early 2000s, not over the use of “USC” but over the interlocking “SC” used on some Gamecock athletic uniforms, said Elizabeth West, archivist for the USC (South Carolina). .

South Carolina Gamecocks helmet during their scrimmage at Founders Park.

South Carolina Gamecocks helmet during their scrimmage at Founders Park.

South Carolina appealed but lost, despite using the logo for many years. Nevertheless, the Gamecock baseball and softball teams continue to use the interlocking logo. In the 1980s, former USC president James Holderman began referring to Carolina as “USC.” This was seen as an “abandonment” of the “SC” brand, said West.

Southern California's victory did not stop South Carolina from calling itself “SC” or “USC.” However, “SC” can no longer be registered as a trademark, said West.

The question remains which school the initials belong to. The “real USC” is in the eye of the beholder.

Anna Harden

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