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July 23, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – About 25 members of the University of South Carolina football team contributed to the electric atmosphere at the Richland County Public Library as part of Friday’s Pigskin Poets event.

The Gamecocks joined up with Cocky to entertain a group of 325 garnet and black-clad children and impress upon them the importance of reading and letting them know that reading is a fun activity.

The event was highlighted by defensive back Taqiy Muhammad and offensive lineman William Brown getting up on stage and reading passages from Mary Ann Hoberman’s “I’ll Read To You, You Read To Me.”

“It is very important for us to come out here and spend time with kids and show them that we’re not just football players,” Muhammad said. “These kids are fans of ours, and we are fans of theirs and support them. Hopefully we can show them that they can live up to their dreams and that anything is possible if they work hard.”

With Cocky helping get the group excited, the players burst into the room through a “Go Cocks” sign to the sounds of “2001”.

The players met with the children in the room, autographing posters, schedule cards and computer games handed out free to those in attendance. Once things settled down, Muhammad and Brown read a few passages to the group. The event continued with some songs and games, before the Gamecocks signed more autographs and met with the children.