Clemson University's iconic Howard's Rock was vandalised earlier this month, according to a University police department report.

Lt. Gary Leslie arrived at Memorial Stadium at 2:30pm on 3 June to find a significant portion of the rock missing.

Leslie also reported the protective cover had been removed and that a partial print was taken by the police department.

"It is very disappointing that someone would disrespect our unique tradition to this extent," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told ESPN.

The Clemson Tigers traditionally run down the Hill, past Howard's Rock before the start of every home game.

The University's Memorial Stadium is often referred to as "Death Valley".

According to legend, S.C. Jones - a Clemson alumnus - stopped on his trip of California in 1964 or 1965 to pick up a large, white flint rock while passing through Death Valley.

Jones transported the rock back from California and gave it to then-Tigers coach Frank Howard.

The rock then found its way onto a pedestal at the top of the hill above Memorial Stadium's east end zone. It was unveiled on September 24, 1966 before the Tigers played Virginia.

Trailing by 18 with just 17 minutes left against the Cavaliers, the Tigers stormed back to win 40-35. 

Since 1967, Tigers' teams have rubbed the rock before they run down the Hill. The tradition began after Howard told his players: "If you're going to give me 110 per cent, you can rub that rock. If you're not, keep your filthy hands off it."

Topics:
#NCAA F