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Gamecocks Mascot Wears Costume Feet to Graduation Ceremony

Sarah Sylvester just graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in biomedical engineering. She’s also spent the past two years serving as the school’s costumed mascot, Cocky. But Cocky’s human identity was a secret until last weekend’s graduation ceremony, which Sylvester attended while wearing her costume’s giant feet. Check out this awesome video:

According to this article, it’s a longstanding school tradition for the mascot to wear giant feet at graduation, so maybe this is all old news for many of you, but I don’t think I knew about this phenomenon until now. I love it!

You can read more about Sarah Sylvester and Cocky here.

(Big thanks to Kary Klismet for letting me know about this one.)

Comments (24)

    Same tradition at Michigan State where the students in the mascot costume get to wear Sparty’s boots at graduation ceremonies.

    I had no idea this was a tradition but I love it and want all schools to do it now.

    Georgia Tech has a similar tradition as well. The graduating student wears black Chuck Taylor All Stars (the same shoes Buzz traditionally wore until Adidas took over the supplier contract) and wings over their robe. Buzz then carries the student across the stage to collect their diploma. Love these fun traditions to acknowledge the commitment these students do in anonymity.

    I came here to say this. It was so exciting to see this during my graduation as I had not known about it until then.

    Proofreading: “…which Sylvester attended while her costume’s giant feet” should probably include the word “wearing” after “while.”

    Thanks for featuring this, Paul! I definitely got a kick out of it when I first saw it.

    Great video. It’s impossible for a ton of schools because of live mascots, etc. Off the top of my head I believe Sparty and Miami also do this.

    Would be a fun research.

    Awesome. We had pictures taken with Cocky during an admitted students day back in March. South Carolina is a fantastic campus and they do love their Gamecocks. Alas, our senior chose another school for the fall, so we’ll not be throwing the Spurs Up hand sign any time soon.

    At Wisconsin (UW-Madison) every student that’s a mascot gets a tattoo of Bucky on a butt cheek (source: I worked with 2 Bucky’s just out of college)

    I knew who Sebastian the Ibis was when I went to the University of Miami. It is a secret, but when he lives in a dorm everyone on that floor knows. Anyway we had a theatre arts class together. He was in a group that had to act out a Chrous Line so he wore the orange leggings! I remember asking him sarcastically where he got the tights!

    As the University of Toledo mascot, Rocky the Rocky, in 1978 I wore a NASA astronaut training space suit with the Rocket nose cone shaped fiberglass head. For our football game at the University of Minnesota that year, we left the hotel early and I forgot to pack appropriate shoes for the pregame meal and walk to the stadium. Breaching mascot protocol slightly, but realizing there would not be many UT fans in Minneapolis for the game to recognize me, I wore the moon boots with my street clothes around the city streets, to a campus bar for lunch and back to Memorial Stadium for the game. You can really get some strange looks in half a mascot costume. Here’s a look at the costume in my first try on in my front yard.


    It brought tears to my eyes, I was really moved by this. What a great video and what a great tradition.

    I love this tradition! Sadly, I don’t think it would work at my alma mater (University of Iowa) because there are multiple students at any given time who embody Herky.

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