GS vs. GSU: One Letter Means A Lot

I’m going on a limb here and making a bold statement right off the bat: this is a big week for GSU athletics.

Ok, so it’s not that bold considering the huge schedule we have ahead, but it’s a true statement for sure. (What, did you think I’d actually give you a prediction for a game? Come on, man! We can’t do that. NCAA rules, you know.)

Anyway, the home games start Tuesday and continue through Sunday: men’s soccer (twice), women’s soccer (twice), volleyball, a basketball event, and, oh yeah, that one game in the Georgia Dome. That last one is going to take up most of the talk, and rightfully so as we have a projected crowd of about 20,000 heading to our home field.

Considering who we are playing in football, for some (both fans and media alike), talking about the game could be confusing. Georgia Southern University versus Georgia State University. Some may want to say GSU vs. GSU but that’s not the case and we want to dispel any thoughts of it right now.

Georgia State is GSU.

The Panthers, located in downtown Atlanta, are the GSU in the state of Georgia. As our Athletic Director Charlie Cobb likes to point out, our email address is so we must be the ones who have the right to use it. And our university’s primary website is, too.

Georgia Southern is GS.

The Eagles, located in Statesboro, Ga., have chosen to go by GS. As one fan recently pointed out (and we’ll let you assume he was a GSU fan), Georgia Southern has gone so far as to include it in its university identification standards guide that the “abbreviation “GSU” MUST NOT be used in publications, ads, Web sites [sic], or other media;”.

I believe, and we all do here in the athletic department, that we need to continue to strengthen the Georgia State brand. When we can use the words Georgia State, we should. But when we use an abbreviation, we are going to do so smartly and in accordance with who we are. That will become more pronounced as we move forward and continue what we expect will be a good rivalry series across all sports with our friends down the road.

We cannot control what others put out, but we can control what we provide. So on Saturday, you will see GS vs. GSU on the scoreboard in the Georgia Dome.

We will also ask the media to use GSU if they cannot spell out all of Georgia State. We cannot control what they use, but like our logo, which we have asked – and continue to ask – to only use the blue/white versions, we will try to remind media as we go.

To make it easy internally, we have made a standard guide for abbreviations for all conference teams that we will use (note: the conference office does not provide this; it’s left up to a school to choose how it refers to any other team). That list looks like this:

Arkansas State = A-ST
Appalachian State = APP
Georgia State = GSU
Georgia Southern = GS
UL Lafayette = ULL
UL Monroe = ULM
South Alabama = USA
Troy = TROY
UT Arlington = UTA
Texas State = TXST

That’s just a little insight in the communications office for this month. As always, if you have a question about anything, feel free to shoot me a note at or catch me at the Dome on Saturday working in the GSU press box.

Jerry Trickie
Associate AD/Communications


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15 Responses to GS vs. GSU: One Letter Means A Lot

  1. That one fan sure is a smart one.

  2. Michael Hill says:

    We were Georgia State University (GSU) when They were still Georgia Southern College about 20 years ago; so it seems to me that since we already owned the abbrev. that it still would remain ours.

  3. Kevin Franz says:

    If you’re looking for a letter to validate your football program, Georgia Southern will give you an L on Saturday. #southernnotstate

  4. Well said, Kevin. We, the real GSU, (because we have more wins in one season than you’ve had since you started the FBS program and/or since 2011; take your pick) will happily put another L in that loss column for you.

  5. Sorry, when most Georgians use GSU in a football context, they mean Southern. GSU = Georgia Southern in reference to football. Fait accompli.

  6. Hunter Hunterson says:

    Too bad they have a student run radio station still broadcasting their sporting events and we do not. WRAS IS GSU!?!

  7. it is worth noting that Georgia Southern had the domain name before the regents made us give it up.

  8. I guess Idaho doesn’t get an abbreviation?

  9. Nah, we know WE are the real GSU (Georgia Southern University) the only reason it will be GS on Saturday is because of extending our SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY to others, that’s the only reason. …..Georgia Southern University Eagles will end up owning the Dome on Saturday….

  10. Joey Eller says:

    Poor Grambling State University…..

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