Howard’s Rock has been one of the greatest tradition in college football since it first led the Clemson Tigers to victory against Virginia in 1966. It’s understandable then that fans are outraged that the rock has been hit by vandalism.
Clemson University reported Tuesday that Howard’s Rock was vandalized on June 2 or 3. The school says that a small portion of the rock was broken off. To get the piece, the vandals also had to break the glass case that protected the rock for many years.
Clemson University Athletic Director Dan Radakovich says that the school is taking this particular case of vandalism very seriously as it has affected “an important part of [their] history.” He also says that police are now investigating the incident.
Now, you may be wondering to yourself – why get so worked up about a rock? Howard’s Rock is seen as a good luck charm of sorts at Clemson University. Players would rub the rock before games and they found that it actually worked. It’s more of a motivational thing for players, but the rock has become engrained in the school’s culture now. It’s similar to a national symbol in that the school goes to great lengths to protect it. In fact, the Clemson University ROTC is hired to protect the rock for 24 hours before each game against South Carolina.
The Clemson University ROTC only started protecting the rock, however, after it was vandalized in 1992. At that time, a fist sized chunk of the rock was made away with. Coach Frank Howard, whom the rock is named after, said he wouldn’t press charges against those who vandalized his rock. Instead, he would “run them up and down those stadium steps or give them 200 laps around the field.” It’s safe to say that Howard would say the same thing if he were still alive today.
[Image: Fuzzy510/Wikimedia Commons]