From the State’s Joseph Person.

The Southeastern Conference has asked USC to put a muzzle on its rooster crow for future conference games at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The rooster call has become a popular, game-day tradition since USC officials last year began blaring it over the stadium™s public address system before big plays. But the SEC warned USC this week to limit the crowing to certain, allowable times, the university announced Wednesday.

According to conference regulations, the use of œinstitutionally-controlled, computerized sound systems (and) institutionally-controlled, artificial noisemakers is restricted to pregame, halftime, postgame, after a score and during team or media timeouts.

USC™s warning comes two weeks after the SEC issued the same rebuke to Auburn for playing a tiger growl and snippets of the song, œEye of the Tiger, over its sound system during the Florida game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said the crow is similar to the tradition of clanging cowbells at Mississippi State, where officials turn away fans with the bells only if they are visible at the entrance gates.

œWe don™t do the cock crow to create noise to upset the other team, do we? Usually that™s when they crack down on artificial noisemakers, Spurrier said. œBut the band plays in between plays everywhere we go. Even at home here, the opponent™s band plays all the time.

USC athletics director Eric Hyman said the artificial rooster would continue to crow, but officials will only use it during stoppages in play.

œI™m very disappointed. I thought it was great, Hyman said. œI knew it was good because some of the opposing fans didn™t like it. They hated that rooster crow.