Police investigating vandalism of Howard's Rock

Howard's Rock which sits on top of The Hill at Clemson's Memorial Stadium (Death Valley) was vandalized earlier this month. Pictured here is the Rock before a football game in 2006, left,  and after a large chunk was chipped off (right).

Photo by Mark Crammer

Howard's Rock which sits on top of The Hill at Clemson's Memorial Stadium (Death Valley) was vandalized earlier this month. Pictured here is the Rock before a football game in 2006, left, and after a large chunk was chipped off (right).

Howard’s Rock, the iconic stone Clemson University players rub for luck before running down the hill during the football team’s entrance to Memorial Stadium, has been vandalized.

The rock was damaged sometime June 2 or June 3, the university’s athletics department said in a prepared statement released Wednesday.

Named for former Coach Frank Howard, the white flint rock was brought to Clemson from Death Valley, Calif., by university alumnus S.C. Jones. According to the university, the rock was placed on a pedestal at the top of the hill on Sept. 24, 1966. Before a game against Wake Forest on Sept. 23, 1967, Howard told his players that if they would give 110 percent, they could rub the rock. The Tigers won that game 23-6.

The rock has remained at the top of the hill for decades since. Tigers rub it for good luck before each home game.

“We take vandalism, especially of such an important part of our history, very seriously,” athletics director Dan Radakovich said. “Police are investigating.”

The vandalism was reported to police June 3.

According to the police report, “the Plexiglas cover was missing from Howard’s Rock and ... a large piece of the rock was missing.”

The pedestal that the rock sits on was not damaged.

The plastic cover was found at a nearby gate, according to the police report.

Two university employees who reported the damage told police that they had touched the pedestal, but had not touched the cover. Those employees told police that they had picked up several pieces of the rock and part of the lock from the case meant to secure it.

Students attending a Dabo Swinney Football Camp for youth had their pictures taken at the rock June 2. That activity ended around 4 p.m., according to the police report.

Police lifted a partial fingerprint off the rock’s pedestal.

Police are still assessing the estimated cost of the damage done to the rock.

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Comments » 17

facman writes:

You knew this was coming. However stupid painting the Carolina field and Cook-a-boose (what a stupid name) was, it did not warrant this. Thank goodness it wasn't totally destroyed.

kellytown writes:

This is how COWARDS operate can't man up face to face.

rsb8931#286014 writes:

Sad but not surprising. I just can't believe they leave the rock out there all year long. I thought they took it off the stand after football and kept in a safe place. Bet they wish they had been doing that. It's ignorant to think somebody wouldn't mess with it sooner or later.

TheRealistTruth writes:

in response to facman:

You knew this was coming. However stupid painting the Carolina field and Cook-a-boose (what a stupid name) was, it did not warrant this. Thank goodness it wasn't totally destroyed.

There is no evidence showing that this was done by South Carolina fans. Maybe as investigation goes further we will learn move, but this could have been anyone. On the other hand, the painting at South Carolina was obviously done by Clemson fans.

Regardless of that, this was still vandalism and it is completely wrong. Yet, when it was done at South Carolina your peers applauded the vandalism. I commented back then that Clemson fans wouldn't think it was funny if vandalism happened to them. Sure enough, vandalism happened and they are angry.

Both sides need to look past the hatred between each other and realize that these senseless acts should not be tolerated. It's sad when we applaud breaking the law just because it happened to our opponents.

DMM writes:

in response to TheRealistTruth:

There is no evidence showing that this was done by South Carolina fans. Maybe as investigation goes further we will learn move, but this could have been anyone. On the other hand, the painting at South Carolina was obviously done by Clemson fans.

Regardless of that, this was still vandalism and it is completely wrong. Yet, when it was done at South Carolina your peers applauded the vandalism. I commented back then that Clemson fans wouldn't think it was funny if vandalism happened to them. Sure enough, vandalism happened and they are angry.

Both sides need to look past the hatred between each other and realize that these senseless acts should not be tolerated. It's sad when we applaud breaking the law just because it happened to our opponents.

So TheRealist Truth - no evidence this was done by a South Carolina fan but the Tiger paws were 'obviously done by Clemson fans'? Orange paint can be purchased by anyone, my friend. What a laugh at your judiciousness. Perhaps you should go out and read the posters at The State today - YOUR peers are applauding even though there is just as little evidence that what happened in Columbia was done by Clemson fans. Go back to gogamecocks.com with your own - we're all stocked up with trollers here.

To all posters, I will say: while it will take no less than a confession to convince me this was not Shamecocks, I do entertain an interesting, if only to me, conspiracy theory: what if this was Georgia or a Tarheel ? No love loss from either of those teams to either Palmetto State team, and they know they can sit back and laugh while we attempt to destroy each other's possessions in the process. A Clemson fan would have made better looking paws in Columbia than those. Just sayin' .....

TRUTH4U2 writes:

in response to TheRealistTruth:

There is no evidence showing that this was done by South Carolina fans. Maybe as investigation goes further we will learn move, but this could have been anyone. On the other hand, the painting at South Carolina was obviously done by Clemson fans.

Regardless of that, this was still vandalism and it is completely wrong. Yet, when it was done at South Carolina your peers applauded the vandalism. I commented back then that Clemson fans wouldn't think it was funny if vandalism happened to them. Sure enough, vandalism happened and they are angry.

Both sides need to look past the hatred between each other and realize that these senseless acts should not be tolerated. It's sad when we applaud breaking the law just because it happened to our opponents.

Couldn't have said it better!

TRUTH4U2 writes:

in response to DMM:

So TheRealist Truth - no evidence this was done by a South Carolina fan but the Tiger paws were 'obviously done by Clemson fans'? Orange paint can be purchased by anyone, my friend. What a laugh at your judiciousness. Perhaps you should go out and read the posters at The State today - YOUR peers are applauding even though there is just as little evidence that what happened in Columbia was done by Clemson fans. Go back to gogamecocks.com with your own - we're all stocked up with trollers here.

To all posters, I will say: while it will take no less than a confession to convince me this was not Shamecocks, I do entertain an interesting, if only to me, conspiracy theory: what if this was Georgia or a Tarheel ? No love loss from either of those teams to either Palmetto State team, and they know they can sit back and laugh while we attempt to destroy each other's possessions in the process. A Clemson fan would have made better looking paws in Columbia than those. Just sayin' .....

I am thinking you could be correct in your statement. After reviewing the facts. The painting of the Gamecock stadium and cocka - boose could not have been done by a Clemson fan. I base this solely on the fact that that "tigers" was spelled correctly.
Either way any fan on whatever side that would do this to either stadium is a P O S. I would however expect this from a UGA fan.

Xander5000 writes:

in response to TheRealistTruth:

There is no evidence showing that this was done by South Carolina fans. Maybe as investigation goes further we will learn move, but this could have been anyone. On the other hand, the painting at South Carolina was obviously done by Clemson fans.

Regardless of that, this was still vandalism and it is completely wrong. Yet, when it was done at South Carolina your peers applauded the vandalism. I commented back then that Clemson fans wouldn't think it was funny if vandalism happened to them. Sure enough, vandalism happened and they are angry.

Both sides need to look past the hatred between each other and realize that these senseless acts should not be tolerated. It's sad when we applaud breaking the law just because it happened to our opponents.

I still say those tiger paws on the field at S.Carolina look like the paws they use at Auburn that represents Aubie the Tiger. It looked nothing like ours. Those paws looked as if a child
of 7 to 8yrs old did them. It looked nothing like Clemson's Tiger Paw.

SoCalTiger writes:

in response to rsb8931#286014:

Sad but not surprising. I just can't believe they leave the rock out there all year long. I thought they took it off the stand after football and kept in a safe place. Bet they wish they had been doing that. It's ignorant to think somebody wouldn't mess with it sooner or later.

I'm shocked, but not surprised either. I am surprised that the Rock is not stored somewhere for safe keeping. They should have known that this might happen. I'm also wondering who has access to the stadium.

TigerMarine writes:

Ya in the Corps we are taught if u don't properly protect your stuff u r just as much at fault as the perp if its stolen (defaced in this case) so I agree I'm extremely disappointed that it wasn't protected better. Unfortunately just like the event in Columbia I don't think we will ever know who's at fault but let's not forget their damage is fixed with a bucket of paint . So the cheering chickens on FB/twitter and coworkers has been very telling to me as far as their character. Let us remember fellow tigers we have been there and done that (unlike them) yet we still have class even in the face of kock lovers don't !!!

Clemorange writes:

The second I read the article about vandalism at South Carolina I was immediately worried about Howard's rock. How come the school wasn't? I don't see how the school didn't see this coming. I agree with Xander5000 too. It looked exactly like aubbie's paw print, not Clemson's. I mean think about it, it's the perfect crime. You know they would assume Clemson did it....but heck it very well could of been a Clem fan. But all in all, I'm okay with it because you know every player and every coach picked up a chip of that rock and put it on there shoulders and now it'll truly be 110%

TRUETIGER1 writes:

It is our own fault, you have to protect things that matter to you. Do the CU police not patrol the stadium ?There aren't many students to harass and no need to block trafic in June, so what were they doing ?

TrevorT writes:

in response to TRUTH4U2:

Couldn't have said it better!

I'm pretty sure you can't say anything better. Everyone else's replies to your nonsense already made my point. It's absolutely amazing that you still troll this site, but thanks anyway for the comic relief!

TrevorT writes:

I also am very surprised at the lack of security at both of the big stadiums in S.C.
I hope school officials have a little more foresight on gamedays, or else a more serious tragedy could be on the way. Remember, these same idiots come to the games.

TrevorT writes:

Sorry, just one more point. Is it really even fair to compare this with what happened at Williams-Brice? True, that was dumb, but it could be fixed with a coat of paint and a lawn mower. Who could deny that this is a far more malicious and cowardly act?

SoCalTiger writes:

Both dirty deeds were carried out by cowards. Two wrongs are two wrongs regardless of the degree of malice.

SoCalTiger writes:

I also wanted to comment that I am a native of the Upstate who, like many others, lives out of state. Both of these events look bad for the whole state, in the eyes of many around the country. Both schools represent the state of South Carolina. I hope I don't get roughed up for saying this, but I want both schools to do well, except when they play each other. Then, as always, I bleed Orange, without a doubt. I want the Tigers to pulverize the Gamecocks in every sport in every way. But, in the end, it's better if this fierce rivalry, recognized by many as one of the greatest rivalries in the country, is played out and resolved on the football field or the basketball court or the baseball diamond. It can never be resolved in the dark of night by a handful of nameless cowards, neither in Clemson or in Columbia.

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