Clemson removes Howard’s Rock

Howard’s Rock sits on a pedestal inside Memorial Stadium, and Clemson football players touch the rock as they run down the hill before games. AP Photo/The Independent-Mail/File

Howard’s Rock is under siege again.

The iconic artifact, irrevocably damaged two summers ago, was attacked at approximately 6 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Clemson University Police Department.

Construction workers currently renovating Memorial Stadium found damage to the Plexiglas case protecting the rock — which was put in place after the June 2013 vandalism by a North Carolina teen — and reported it to the police.

The rock itself was not harmed this time, but Clemson has temporarily removed the rock and pedestal while it investigates.

“Howard’s Rock is a very important and visible part of our campus and our stadium, and we know many students, alumni and fans come to see it throughout the year,” athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement. “We’ll work to quickly have it back in its home and available for all to see as quickly as possible.”

Micah Rogers, then 18, was charged with malicious injury to personal property and trespassing after breaking off about 15 percent of Howard’s Rock on June 12, 2013.

In response, Clemson implemented a series of security measures looking to protect the 49-year-old piece which is rubbed by Tigers coaches and players before every home football game.

Two spotlights brighten Howard’s Rock from dusk to dawn, plus a mounted camera points downward from the east end zone scoreboard directly at the pedestal. Visual and audio sensors also trigger alarms in case of trespassers.

“We had gotten, I don’t want to say lazy, but we just weren’t really paying attention,” Van Hilderbrand, Clemson associate athletic director of event management, told The Post and Courier in June 2014. “Now we pay a little more attention on a day-to-day basis of what’s going on in that stadium.

“(The police) can see the rock 24/7 if they want to look at it.”