The desecration of Howard's Rock, in any light, is a despicable act.
But the act of vandalism that sent shock waves through the Clemson family on Wednesday will, like the iconic artifact itself, become part of Tiger lore and legend.
The most common reaction voiced via social media as the news spread was something along the line of 'somebody will pay.'
Somebody, as in 'everybody.'
The next time the Tigers stand atop the Hill and pledge their 110 percent to Clemson's football past, present and future, they'll touch the Rock, feel the ragged edge cleaved away by sledge hammer or other instrument, and run onto the field with a chip off their own shoulders, primed for battle.
Howard's Rock has come a long way since it resided on the floor of Frank Howard's office, an unsightly doorstop, doomed for disposal.
Through a combination of coincidence and inspiration it survived Howard's initial intent and became a centerpiece in one of college football's greatest traditions.
It survived two previous attacks, just as it has survived this one.
Guarding the Rock, in some form or fashion, will soon become part of the legend and tradition.
Future Clemson generations will make sure it doesn't happen again.
In the meantime, the Tigers will draw inspiration as they embark on what they intend to be a special season.
Rising sophomore defensive tackle DeShawn Williams, who grew up with Howard's Rock in his backyard, perhaps said it best via Twitter Wednesday evening:
"That's just (going to) make us go even harder who did that to our rock. So thanks for the extra motivation."