Howard's Rock vandalism case set for Monday

by - Assoc. Editor -

Micah Rogers, 20, of Pisgah Forest will be in court today after a two year wait after being accused of vandalizing iconic Howard's Rock.

Police investigators believe that Rogers broke the glass that secured the rock and chipped off a large portion of the rock on June 2, 2013.

The charges (which have been upgraded) are for grand larceny and malicious injury to property valued at more than $10,000. If convicted, Rogers could serve up to 10 years in prison.

Jury selection will begin at 9 a.m. unless a plea bargain is reached.

Rogers' father and a friend Alden Gainey await trail for criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Both were released on a bond of $7,500.

A timeline of the vandalism, investigation, arrest and pre-trial movement in the vandalism of Howard’s Rock

*June 2nd, afternoon – A group of campers at Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
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’s camp had their pictures taken with Howard’s Rock inside of Clemson Memorial Stadium.

*June 2nd/3rd – In the early hours of that evening, unknown subjects jumped the fence under the scoreboard, removed the protective case covering the rock and chipped a large portion of the rock, estimated to be almost 15 percent of the rock.

*June 3rd – Clemson associate SID Jeff Kallin notices the damage to the rock and reports it to the police.

*June 12th – For the first time, information about the vandalism is announced publicly, and fans are allowed into the stadium to take pictures of the rock.

June 20th – Clemson University police release a video that shows a white pickup truck parking outside of the gate and spending 13 minutes outside of the gate. Police ask for help in finding the truck.

*In the week after the video release, university police identify internally 18-year old Micah Rogers of North Carolina as a major person of interest in the case.

*June 28th – Police announce that they have arrested Rogers in connection with the case, but also announce that the investigation is ongoing and that further arrests could be made.

*Week of July 15th – Rogers’ defense waives the right to a preliminary hearing.

Wikipedia description of the history of Howard's Rock:

The rock was brought to football coach Frank Howard in the early 1960s as a gift from Samuel C. Jones. Jones found the rock while driving through Death Valley, California and gave it to Howard as a reference to "Death Valley," the name Howard used to refer to Memorial Stadium. The coach used the rock as a doorstop until 1966. He was cleaning out his office when he told Gene Willimon, a Clemson booster, "Take this rock and throw it over the fence or out in the ditch...Do something with it, but get it out of my office." It was Willimon who had the rock placed on a pedestal in the east end zone, where it remains today.

The rock made its first appearance on September 24, 1966: Clemson was losing to Virginia by 18 points with seventeen minutes left in the game. The Tigers made up the deficit and won the game 40-35. The next season was when the tradition of rubbing the rock upon entering the stadium began. Howard reportedly said to 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."

The Tigers have continued this tradition since 1967, except for two-and-a-half seasons between 1970 and 1972. This was due to new head coach Hootie Ingram's changing the team's entrance to the west end zone after Frank Howard's retirement. During those seasons, Clemson held a bad record at home of 6-9. Before the South Carolina rivalry game in 1972, the team voted to enter via the east end zone and run down the hill. They later won the game 7-6.

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