Clemson: Tigers fan arrested for Howard's Rock vandalism

Still shots of surveillance video (provided)

CLEMSON, S.C. (WCIV) -- An 18-year-old from Pisgah Forest, NC was announced as the suspect in the Howard's Rock vandalism case Friday.

Clemson officials held a press conference to announce the arrest of Micah Rogers.

While Rogers was said to have Clemson memorabilia in his home and a Tiger paw on the back of his truck, officials said he has no known affiliation to the university. Police are also looking for two other people who may be connected.

A university statement said the rock was vandalized sometime June 2 or 3.

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

On June 20, Police at Clemson University released a photo and videos of a truck believed to have been involved in the defacing of Howard's Rock.

Police said there is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case, raised from the athletic department's private funds. That award will be distributed upon a conviction.

Rogers was charged with malicious damage to real property of less than $2,000 and unlawful entering of a closed place.{}

Officials say he appeared in Clemson University Municipal Court Friday morning and was released on personal recognizance bond of $5,470.

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

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

The protective casing was destroyed and a portion of the rock was chipped away. That piece is still missing.

Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich says that they will wait until the missing piece of the rock is returned to decide if it can be re-attached.

"On behalf of the athletic department and the football coaches and players, I want to thank the Clemson University Police Department, the State Law Enforcement Division and the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office for acting in a swift, thorough manner with regards to the vandalism to Howard's Rock," said Radakovich. "We appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in this case."