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Tragedy in the USC family

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Just when we all thought the Tennessee loss was important, we're reminded that it was, after all, just a game.

This isn't.

Seven college students -- six from the University of South Carolina and one thought to be from Clemson University, died in an early Sunday morning house fire at Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., authorities said.

Dean of Students Dennis Pruitt said the USC students were from Delta Delta Delta sorority and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, although it was not an official social or university outing. ...

Pruitt said officials hope to have more details by a 7:30 p.m. news conference.

President Andrew Sorensen was attending a conference in Washington D.C. when he received news of the fire. He is enroute to Columbia and is expected to be at that conference.

Identities of the dead were not available and it was not immediately clear how many of the students were male or female or what class year they were in. Pruitt said authorities were being cautious in releasing names because there were other college students in the area over the weekend. The bodies were being sent to the state medical examiner's office in Chapel Hill, N.C., for identification. Names may not be released for several days, authorities said.

As always, thoughts and prayers for the families of those who died. And South Carolina also grieves with Clemson today.

This is technically a sports blog, but anyone who wants to can leave thoughts in the comments section of this post or in the diaries over to the right.