COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The University of South Carolina announced Monday a new name for its live mascot.

The name change is reflective of how the university’s athletics department “became known as the Gamecocks,” saying the new live mascot will now be known as ‘The General’ in homage to Revolutionary War General Thomas Sumter, whose nickname “Fighting Gamecock” became the moniker for the dept.

University leaders said its live mascot, formerly known as “Sir Big Spur,” has been a staple at football and baseball games for nearly two decades. They said The General will still present the department through a partnership with new owners Beth and Van Clark.

“We know Gamecock fans are passionate about our traditions and seeing the live mascot at games and other Athletics events is something they look forward to,” said South Carolina Deputy Athletics Director Eric Nichols. “When we realized that we would have to change his name to keep that tradition alive, it seemed fitting to go back to where ‘Gamecocks’ got started.”

According to the school, a dispute regarding the care of the rooster between the Clarks and its previous owners brought forth the name change, which neither the University nor the Athletics Department owned the rights to.

The athletics dept. worked with the Clarks and internal staff – they even reviewed some online fan suggestions – before finalizing the name.

“With the University’s legal department discouraging keeping any part of the previous name in the new one, the Gamecocks chose to honor their original namesake and give the live mascot the name The General,” the university said.

Along with its new name, The General will also have a new perch when football season begins next Saturday.  “The Athletics Department and the Clarks are creating a ‘C’ for The General to sit, somewhat replicating the South Carolina Block C logo,” the university said.

The General’s first appearance of the new season will be at the South Carolina football season opener against Georgia State on September 3.