On the Record

February 2010
Written By: 
Lee Ehlers

South Carolina's riveting past, from war time to half-time.

A History of College Football in South Carolina: Glory on the Gridiron
by Fritz P. Hamer & John Daye | Minotaur Books, 2009

College football migrated to South Carolina from the northeast in the late nineteenth-century. Early games, the authors tell us, were amateur, unofficiated, and violent, resembling rugby far more than modern football. From these beginnings, Hamer and Daye chart the evolution of college football in the Palmetto State from the pre–World War II era up to the present. College football teams statewide receive attention long overdue: Furman, The Citadel, Wofford, Erskine, Presbyterian College, Newberry, S.C. State, Benedict College, and others competed at a roughly equivalent level to Clemson and USC until the post-war period, which saw the rise and domination of the latter's aggressive, big-budget programs. Along the way, the authors treat us to glimpses of important in-state rivalries as well as legendary players and coaches.