There were two major security problems Saturday in Death Valley and they were both related to things that are symbols of Clemson football. These issues must be addressed before next season.
The first issue came about two hours before kickoff when a number of South Carolina players were allowed to climb the hill and touch Howards Rock. This was pointed out to me as I watched from the pressbox. It was time for me to head to the field so I quickly went down towards the field.
As I walked down the steps towards the field I noticed three more Gamecocks walking to the top of the Hill, touching the Rock and making comments to the fans outside the fence.
That was enough for me. I quickly went over to the security folks at the bottom of the Hill and told them they should quickly get to the top of the Hill, remove those players and make sure no other South Carolina players went up the Hill. They did just that and stationed two at the middle of the Hill to make sure it didn’t happen again.
Obviously that is something that should never be allowed in Death Valley, especially when the rival Gamecocks come to town. It should take someone in the media walking up to the security staff to get this stopped. That should never happen again.
The second security issue came following the game. As South Carolina fans filled the field many of them went to the center of the field and started taking part of the turf where the Tiger Paw is located. Many don’t remember but this happened back in 1994 when South Carolina defeated the Tigers.
There were a few people around that tried to stop the Gamecock fans, but no security staff to be found anywhere and a number of Gamecocks took home part of the Paw.
Again this should never happen in Death Valley. We will make sure we pass this along to the Athletic Department, but it shouldn’t be the media’s responsibility to make sure these things don’t happen.
There some things in Death Valley that are sacred and two of them were violated Saturday night. Most fans didn’t notice either incident but those that did couldn’t believe what they were seeing in the Valley. Hopefully they will never happen again!!!