N.C. man charged in Howard's Rock vandalism

Friday, June 28, 2013 3:14 PM
Last updated 10:37 PM
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson University Police have charged an 18-year-old North Carolina man with vandalizing the school’s beloved Howard’s Rock and it appears he is a Tigers fan.

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A new protective case covers Howard's Rock at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. Clemson University police Captain Eric Hendricks announced earlier that an arrest had been made in the vandalism of the rock that occurred on June 2.  Micah Rogers of Pisgah Forest, N.C. was charged with one felony of damaging the iconic symbol that Clemson football players rub before home football games and one misdemeanor of trespassing.   MARK CRAMMER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MARK CRAMMER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
A new protective case covers Howard's Rock at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. Clemson University police Captain Eric Hendricks announced earlier that an arrest had been made in the vandalism of the rock that occurred on June 2. Micah Rogers of Pisgah Forest, N.C. was charged with one felony of damaging the iconic symbol that Clemson football players rub before home football games and one misdemeanor of trespassing.

Micah Rogers, of Pisgah Forest, was arrested and charged Friday with felony malicious injury to personal property and misdemeanor trespassing more than three weeks after the iconic college football symbol was damaged on June 2, police said. A protective case was damaged and a piece of the stone chipped away.

Clemson Police Capt. Eric Hendricks said Rogers was identified after video was released of a pickup truck outside the stadium when the rock was vandalized June 2. Other people were seen on the video and Hendricks said authorities were tipped off to Rogers by a witness. Hendricks said the investigation is ongoing.

Rogers was in court Friday and released on $5,470 bond. His attorney, Frank Eppes, said Rogers recognized his truck from the video footage and called the attorney last week. They agreed to meet with police this week.

Eppes said it wasn’t time to discuss any details of the case, including what role Rogers had in the vandalism. He did ask people to respect the privacy of Rogers’ family.

Soon after the vandalism, speculation from Clemson fans centered on a South Carolina supporter (the rivals share a longtime distaste for each other) or a Georgia backer (the schools are about two hours apart and open the season at Clemson on Aug. 31). But it appears Rogers cheered for the Tigers after police found his truck had a Clemson tiger paw sticker and other school memorabilia was found in his home.

“I’ll make you draw your own conclusions with that,” Hendricks said.

Police have not yet found the missing piece of the rock and are continuing the search.

Howard’s Rock has been a fixture for Clemson football since the late 1960s when the stone was brought to campus from Death Valley, Calif., by Samuel C. Jones, a close friend of then-coach Frank Howard. The coach had little use for it until school booster Gene Willimon affixed to a pedestal and placed it at the entrance of Memorial Stadium.

Legend has it that during the 1967 season Howard told his players if they didn’t want to give maximum effort they should “keep your filthy hands off of my rock.” Ever since, Tiger players gather at the pedestal and rub the rock for good luck before rushing down the hill for games.

It left for a two-month period before the 2000 season when John Fernandez’s granite sawing company worked to fit it on a new pedestal. Fernandez was a 1969 Clemson graduate who said the rock was only out of his sight while he slept. He even held a cookout with the rock as the guest of honor.

The rock sits on a black granite base with the inscription, “Howard’s Rock. From Death Valley, CA, to Death Valley, SC.”

Former Clemson linebacker Jeff Davis said the power of the rock comes from knowing how hard others who stood there before you worked to make the Tigers a success. “The power comes from the individual touching the rock. You understand the numerous athletes that paid the price for you to be there,” said Davis, part of the Clemson’s 1981 national champions and now a football administrator for his alma mater.

Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said the school has increased security around the rock to prevent future vandalism. He believed Clemson fans will sleep easier knowing the school was able to catch a perpetrator.

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rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 06/28/13 - 04:28 pm
0
0
I'm a
Unpublished

die-hard Gamecock but vandalizing the property of another is a CRIME. Just ask the punk who poisoned the trees at auburn.

Riverman1
94214
Points
Riverman1 06/28/13 - 07:45 pm
3
1
That is NOT funny.

That is NOT funny.

GiantsAllDay
10551
Points
GiantsAllDay 06/28/13 - 10:41 pm
0
2
At least the Alabama fan who

At least the Alabama fan who poisoned the trees was a rival fan. Both are true nut jobs, but this guy is an ultimate nut job. Gotta love the SEC.

BillC1
49
Points
BillC1 06/29/13 - 04:50 am
0
1
Damaged?

It would be nice if the article said what damage was done.

Riverman1
94214
Points
Riverman1 06/29/13 - 04:57 am
1
1
BillC1, the damage is that

BillC1, the damage is that big hunk missing from the rock. He probably wanted a piece to rub everyday before he went to work or something. If they can find the missing piece it could be glued back on or the rock could be turned around so the players can rub the other smooth side. We need that thing fixed soon. When the orange clad tigers come down that hill to open the year Georgia fans will experience cold chills.

GiantsAllDay
10551
Points
GiantsAllDay 06/29/13 - 09:09 am
0
1
There has been ONE good thing

There has been ONE good thing to come out of Clemson and only one. That one thing being Dwight Clark.

dwb619
104659
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dwb619 06/29/13 - 11:23 am
1
0
GAD

I beg to differ.
Charlie Waters, North Augusta High School.
Class of 1966.

GiantsAllDay
10551
Points
GiantsAllDay 06/29/13 - 11:47 am
1
0
DWB, I'll give you

DWB,
I'll give you that
+1
Good choice

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