Because our state’s higher educrats have nothing better to do with our time (and money) than inventing cute ways to suck up to state lawmakers, here’s University of South Carolina president Harris Pastides presenting State Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler with a framed, autograph photo from the school’s mascot, “Cocky.”

The photo of Peeler and “Cocky” was taken at “USC Day” earlier this month.

“Senator Peeler, You’re my favorite Tiger!” the inscription reads, a reference to Peeler’s support for his alma mater, USC’s arch-rival Clemson University.

Awwwww …

The original photo of Peeler and Pastides was tweeted from the S.C. Senate GOP Caucus.

Peeler isn’t just a Clemson fan, his brother – former Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler – is a member of the school’s constitutionally dubious board of trustees.

In fact hold that thought … because we’re working on a big story involving the Peeler brothers this week …