USC, Clemson fans go for blood in annual Red Cross drive

Rivalries between universities can be serious business, and this week blood will determine bragging rights for the University of South Carolina and Clemson. The blood, however, will not be spilled.

USC senior Maddie Fallon shows off the T-shirt awarded to donors like her who bleed garnet and black (photo by Allen Wallace)

USC senior Maddie Fallon shows off the T-shirt awarded to donors like her who bleed garnet and black. (photo by Allen Wallace)

The 31st annual Carolina-Clemson Blood Drive is under way on both campuses with all USC and Clemson students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans encouraged to participate.

Red Cross Bloodmobiles will be at various locations through Friday, and each donor will earn a point for his or her chosen school.

[cp_quote style=”quote_right_dark”]“Tiger blood is not the best blood.” – USC student Brooke Strozdas[/cp_quote]

The tally outside Russell House in the heart of USC’s campus was not unanimous as of Tuesday. By midafternoon, four fans of orange had slipped through the garnet ranks to donate and vote.

“Tiger blood is not the best blood,” said USC student Brooke Strozdas, who spent several hours of her Tuesday volunteering to sign up donors, representing sorority Alpha Gamma Delta.

Senior Maddie Fallon, arriving to donate, was puzzled by the Tiger infiltrators.

“I guess I’m just confused, because we’re on USC’s campus,” she said. “You’ve got to have school loyalty.”

Fallon, who donated blood for the first time her freshman year, said the process is not a big deal for her.

“I’m one of the lucky ones because I’m not squeamish,” she said.

“It takes a while [because she has small veins], but it’s worth it,” she said, adding with a smile, “and you get snacks and a T-shirt.”

usc clemson blood drive 2Maddie was correct. All donors get a T-shirt commemorating the competition while supplies last and a chance to enter to win giveaways from local businesses in addition to the snacks.

USC is riding a seven-year winning streak in the contest, which is held at the start of the holiday season when blood donations typically decrease, according to information from the Red Cross. The 30 previous drives have brought in about 100,000 pints of blood. Red Cross officials say each pint can save up to three lives.

The winning streak has boosted the Gamecocks to a 16-14 lead in the history of the competition, and 4,103 donors cast votes for USC in 2014.

The coveted blood drive trophy will be awarded to the winning school at the annual rivalry football game Nov. 28 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Find out what other people in the community have to say about the blood drive here on Storify.

The list of times and places to donate during this year’s drive are as follows:


  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Russell House
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Greek Village
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Solomon Blatt P.E. Center


  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Russell House
  • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Koger Center for the Arts
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Swearingen Engineering Center


  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Russell House
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Greek Village
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