Country Gentleman

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The Country Gentleman is a now-all-but-forgotten Clemson mascot who was played by a cadet at sporting matches from 1939 into the 1970s. A top-hatted character in a purple tail coat, with a cane, he represented the Southern hospitality and class of the Clemson student, epitomized by the phrase, "a Clemson man needs no introduction." (Still a popular sticker available at Judge Keller's Store, portraying a Tiger bowing and tipping his tophat).

The concept developed in 1939 from the Greenville News sports writer Carter "Scoop " Latimer's referring to Clemson as the "Country Gentlemen." (It was also Latimer who dubbed baseball player Joseph Jefferson Jackson "Shoeless Joe", in 1908.)

The Country Gentleman was retired after the 1972 season, in the same era in which the playing of "Dixie" and display of the Confederate naval jack at games was discontinued.

When ClemsonWiki administrator C. Mark Sublette wrote an article about the history of the Tiger mascot for the Clemson World, the magazine published by the Clemson Alumni Association, in 1992, an attempt to mention the Country Gentleman was summarily edited out by the publication, so it would seem that it is no longer politically correct to mention this harbinger of the Old South.

Interestingly, when Leonard Keller attempted to update the sticker to "A Clemson TIGER needs no introduction" in the 1990s, the new version was a flop with fans and the original wording far outsells the revision.