By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
Howard’s Rock, which the Clemson Tigers have rubbed prior to running down the Hill since 1966, was vandalized on June 3 after someone broke into Memorial Stadium and then broke the case that protects it.
A big piece of the rock was removed from the side that faces the gates behind the Hill. Sources have confirmed to us that the Clemson Athletic Department is working closely with police to try and find out who are the responsible parties. From what we have been told the police are looking at videos to try and find the vandals.
The case has been replaced that protects the rock. We learned early Thursday morning that a partial finger print was taken from the broken cover that is believed to be from the vandals.
“We take vandalism, especially of such an important part of our history, very seriously,” said Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich. “Police are investigating.”
When we learn more, we will report it here.
This is the third time someone has tried to remove or vandalize the rock. In 1992, the week leading up to the South Carolina game someone or group of people tried to remove Howard’s Rock from its pedestal atop the east hill in Memorial Stadium and they took off a piece on the left side of the rock.
In 2004 an opponent’s team manager tried to vandalize the rock during a walk through the day before the game, but he was stopped.
Clemson first started touching Howard’s Rock following a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Virginia in 1966. That was the first day Clemson put the rock on the pedestal and Howard started using it as motivation the following season, telling his players, “It you can’t give me a 110 percent than keep your filthy hands off my rock.”
Since then, the Tigers touching of Howard’s Rock has become known as one of college football’s greatest traditions. ABC broadcaster Brent Musburger–then with CBS–called it, “The most exciting 25 seconds in all of college football” prior to the Georgia game in 1985. It stuck, and it is known as such today.