Officials with both Clemson University and the University of South Carolina have announced that their students won't burn each other's mascots in effigy before their football rivalry game because of the beach house fire that killed seven students from the schools last month.
Clemson had announced Monday that the annual bonfire wouldn't take place. USC officials followed suit Tuesday, announcing that the traditional "Tiger Burn" would not take place.
Rather than holding a mock funeral and burning "Cocky," the USC mascot, before the Nov. 24 game, Clemson students instead plan to hold a pep rally on the traditional Big Thursday that organizers have dubbed the "Fowl Fest." USC, which traditionally holds its "Tiger Burn" on the Thursday before the game, no doubt will come up with a suitable alternative.
Life goes on, even after tragedies such as the beach-house fire. Students at both schools will celebrate the annual rivalry this year in many of the usual ways, and the bonfires and the burning of respective mascots in effigy no doubt will resume next year.
But the symbolism would be entirely inappropriate this year, and we are pleased that these two traditional rivals had the good sense to acknowledge that and to honor the memories of the students who lost their lives in the fire.
Clemson, USC have cancelled the annual burning of mascots in effigy, because of fire.