Gamecocks to honor Charleston shooting victims with helmet decal

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina football players will wear stickers on their helmets this season to honor the nine people who died in a shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston this past June.

The team will have a decal with a Palmetto Tree with nine doves around it for the nine black victims at the church June 17. Dylann Roof has been charged with murder in the shootings.

"The tragedy that happened in Charleston doesn't just affect people in Charleston; it affects the entire state. We feel very much a part of that at the university," athletic director Ray Tanner said in a statement. "Coach Steve Spurrier and University President Harris Pastides felt very strongly that the 'Emanuel 9' should be recognized."

Spurrier said Sunday that the players felt it was appropriate to honor those killed in the tragedy "so it will be on our helmets this year, in honored memory of those folks."

In the university's statement, Tanner said Spurrier "was very engaged in this process."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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