COLUMBIA - A statue of former South Carolina running back George Rogers may soon find a permanent home outside of the university's football stadium.
South Carolina is considering erecting a statue of the 1980 Heisman Trophy winner, USC spokesman Steve Fink said Wednesday. Rogers was the first pick in the 1981 NFL Draft after rushing for 1,894 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior.
The statue will be part of a new plaza at Williams-Brice Stadium, and it will overlook George Rogers Boulevard. It has yet to be sculpted, and South Carolina has not publicly discussed potential costs. The plaza is expected to be open for the 2015 season.
Chuck Allen, a member of USC's Board of Trustees, has been pushing for a monument to honor Rogers since the mural of him painted on the side of the old Booker T. Washington High School gym in Columbia disappeared with the demolition of the building.
"Since (Rogers') mural came down off Booker T. Washington, we lost a significant piece of our iconography," Allen told The State. "That mural was a big deal for the university, commemorating that he won the Heisman Trophy. It's been my hope for a long time that we could do something that was commensurate with the level of the achievement."
Allen and Rogers played together at USC from 1977-80.
Rogers, who was the NFL rookie of year with the New Orleans Saints in 1981, said he just recently became aware of the idea of a statue honoring him.
"I've heard a little bit talked about it," Rogers told The State newspaper. "Whatever they want to do, the university's been good to me."