(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today’s photo is from the 1942 season and the Tigers are coming onto the field from the West Endzone area. Back in those days, Clemson did not run down the hill to enter the stadium.
Before we get into the history of the picture, let’s address a “controversy” with this picture! When people first look at this picture, some notice that it appears like a man is in a tree at the center of the picture up about half way on the tree. Much like Bigfoot photos and JFK Assassination photos, people’s imaginations tend to run wild when looking at a picture very closely.
But, I have to admit, the shadowy figure does look like a person in the tree, despite the fact that it would not make any sense for someone to be in that tree! Look at the picture closer and you make your own judgment!
This picture shows how different the west area of the stadium is today compared to 1942. The field house is clearly visible in the picture. This is where the Clemson and opponent dressing rooms were located (and still located today).
You can also see the wooded area behind the field house in what is now Lot 5. This was a large forest in 1942, but now is home to Lot 5, McFadden Building, Doug Kingsmore Stadium, football practice fields, and the track complex.
Bully Cagle, Butch Butler, Bill Hunter, and Hal Prince were all stars on the 1942 roster, which was depleted because most of the players enlisted in the armed forces and were fighting in WWII. The Tigers would stumble to a 3-6-1 record in 1942, due in large part to the depleted rosters.
It was also noted that many of those that did not (or could not) enlist in the armed forces and remained at Clemson felt a tremendous guilt and anger that they could not go fight for their country. It was almost as if these remaining students and football players were humiliated to be playing a football game while their buddies were in France or the Pacific.
Most of the Clemson students that did not enlist was due to the fact that they failed a physical or some other screening. More than 6,000 Clemson students and alumni served in WWII. 373 died in action with an amazing 57 from the Class of 1941. The Class of 1944 was the smallest class in Clemson history with only 13 graduates.
Scott Rhymer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org