University of South Carolina Board of Trustees member Chuck Allen has long had a dream about his alma mater's honoring its athletic heroes.
No. 1 on his honors list is his former USC teammate, George Rogers, and his dream is getting closer to being realized.
USC is preparing to include a life-sized bronze statue in honor of the 1980 Heisman Trophy winner in a soon-to-be-constructed plaza surrounding Williams-Brice Stadium, said Allen, an Anderson attorney and USC Board of Trustees member.
"I originally got interested in this when the mural (of Rogers) on the Booker T. Washington building came down," Allen said. "That was, I believe, in 1999. That was such a great piece of iconography on the building that was really impressive.
"When that came down, there were no plans to do anything in lieu of that in commensurate with the type of achievement that was."
Allen, who said he has pursued a statue in Rogers' honor outside the stadium for years, sent a letter to the USC Buildings and Grounds chairman Mark Buyck in July 2011.
"I went on the Board of Trustees in 2008," Allen said. "I became a member of the athletics committee a couple years later. That presented the opportunity to push that even more from a different angle."
USC plans to begin the construction of the plaza immediately after the 2014 season ends, and it is projected to be completed before the 2015 season begins.
While Allen says there will be room around the Rogers statue to honor future players who may earn a Heisman Trophy, he says there would be another section in the plaza to recognize other iconic USC football players.
"The way the stadium apron is to be configured -- and it is still pretty conceptual -- you could have a Heisman Plaza, a Hall of Honor," Allen said. "You can do various things. I am just one person, but my consideration was never for just one person, and place should be reserved for future Heisman winners.
"The only reaction I heard after presenting the plan was, 'It's a good idea. Let's try to get that done.' "
Allen said preliminary plans have been drawn for the Rogers statue, which would face George Rogers Boulevard on the northwest corner of the stadium, but the design has not been finalized.