Three years after the Auburn trees at Toomer’s Corner were poisoned, another treasure of college football – Howard’s Rock at Clemson – has been heavily damaged.
Reports Will Vandervort of The Clemson Insider:
“I was told Howard’s Rock had been vandalized so I went and checked for myself and it has indeed been vandalized. A big piece of the rock is missing on the side that faces the gates behind the Hill.
We have learned Clemson knows about it and is working with local police to try and find who is responsible for this. From what we have been told the police are looking at videos to try and find the vandals.
From what we understand, the case that protects the rock was shattered and it looks like the vandals tried to remove the rock from its pedestal before finally settling and taking a big part of the rock.
When we learn more, we will report it here.”
According to Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich, the vandalism occurred either June 2nd or June 3rd.
As you can see by comparing the pictures below, it looks like a huge chunk of the rock was torn out of the rock using some kind of machinery or hammer. Legendary Clemson coach Frank Howard was given the rock as a gift from Death Valley, California, and it has been rubbed by players before home games since 1966. The image of Clemson players standing around the rock and touching it for good luck, then running down the hill to the field is one of the most iconic in college football.
As legend has it, Howard used to tell his players, “Give me 110 percent or keep your filthy hands off of my rock.”
It should be noted that this could be retaliation from fans at arch-rival South Carolina after a Clemson Tiger paw was spray-painted onto the field at Williams-Brice Stadium in April.
We’re all for college pranks, but when it comes to permanent damage to something as cherished by all college football fans as Toomer’s Corner or Howard’s Rock, people need to get a grip.