Howard's Rock, the recognizable stone fixture rubbed by Clemson University players before entering Memorial Stadium, was vandalized in early June, the school said in a Thursday release. According to the report, Clemson University Police Department Lt. Gary Leslie arrived at Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. on June 3 and found "a large piece of the rock was missing." The plastic protective cover over the rock was on the ground near the gate and police lifted a partial print off the pedestal. Leslie estimated the damage at $500, but the total is still to be determined. Sports information director Tim Bourret told USA Today that two university employees went to photograph the rock for the marketing department, and discovered the damage. Bourret estimated only about 15 percent of the rock was removed. The rock's history dates to the Frank Howard era. Unveiled Sept. 24, 1966, the Tigers were trailed Virginia by 18 points with 17 minutes left and came back to win 40-35. The image of Clemson players touching the rock, then racing down the hill to the field is one of the most iconic in college football. According to legend has it, Howard used to tell his players, "If you're going to give me 110 percent, you can rub that rock. If you're not, keep your filthy hands off of it."
- Clemson University