Clemson: Howard's Rock at stadium vandalized

      CLEMSON, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - Clemson University officials say that the famed Howard's Rock at Memorial Stadium has been vandalized.

      Football players touch the rock before they run down the hill during the team's entrance into "Death Valley" stadium.

      A university statement says the rock was vandalized sometime June 2 or 3. Police are investigating.

      The statement says a small part of the rock was broken off of its pedestal after vandals broke the casing that protects it.

      "I am sure Clemson police will investigate this thoroughly and hold the person accountable for this behavior," said head coach Dabo Swinney. "Thankfully, most of Howard's Rock is still intact and we will do what is necessary to protect it going forward."

      Athletics Director Dan Radakovich says the incident is being taken very seriously because the rock is an important part of the school's history.

      "It is very disappointing that someone would disrespect our unique tradition to this extent," said{} Swinney. " It is one of the iconic images of the game."

      The rock is dubbed "Howard's Rock" because former football coach Frank Howard began the tradition of the pre-game ritual.

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