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Man arrested in Toomer’s Corner tree poisonings

Tree Murderer

An Alabama man has been arrested in connection to the poisoning of Auburn’s famed Toomer’s Corner oak trees, WTVM in Auburn is reporting.

According to the television station, 62-year-old Harvey Almorn Updyke of Dadeville, Ala., was arrested Wednesday night and has been charged with one count of first-degree criminal mischief, a Class C felony that carries a punishment of one to 10 years.

Updyke is currently being held on a $50,000 bond.

Police were first alerted to the possibility that the Toomer oaks had been poisoned when a caller to the Finebaum Show claimed he had spread a herbicide on the soil around the trees a week after Auburn’s Iron Bowl win over Alabama last year.  The caller gave his name as “Al from Dadeville” and ended his call with “Roll Damn Tide”.

Auburn police began the initial investigation in late January, and were later joined by the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Department.  At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Auburn Police Chief Tommy Dawson refused to confirm that the Finebaum caller prompted the probe, and warned fans against exacting revenge for the act of a lone nut case.

“I don’t want to do anything that’s going to jeopardize the investigation and I don’t want to fuel the fires even further,” Dawson said. “I want to caution all the Auburn fans to act with the class we always act with.

“This is the exception rather than the rule. This is a person who obviously has problems to do something like this. So we want to use caution and let the justice system takes its course.”

Alabama athletic director Mal Moore had already decried the desecration of his rival school’s sacred landmark.

“It’s an awful act, a terrible thing to do,” Moore said in a statement Wednesday. “A lot of what makes our two programs so special is our many unique traditions. So, hearing this about Toomer’s Corner is upsetting to me in several ways. I certainly hope that whomever is responsible is held accountable.”

University experts, with the help of officials from several different agencies — for example, soil samples were tested at Mississippi State — are doing everything in their power to save the 130-year-old trees, although all evidence points to them fighting a losing battle.

“Spike 80 is an herbicide that is usually used for total vegetation control,” said Stephen Enloe, an assistant professor of agronomy and soil at Auburn. “It’s very good at what it does and that is kill all plants. This herbicide is really active on plants that are actively growing.”

Police believe Updyke acted alone and are not actively seeking any additional suspects. To view the reactions of the act, CLICK HERE.

UPDATED 6:37 p.m. ET: The kind folks at NBC would like us to pass this video along for you all. Judging by the comment thread on this story, this is a pretty big deal.

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88 Responses to “Man arrested in Toomer’s Corner tree poisonings”
  1. bamasucks says: Feb 17, 2011 11:11 AM

    A retired state trooper should be pretty popular in prison. I hope that he has a blast.

  2. caneincanada says: Feb 17, 2011 11:23 AM

    You have to be a real [really bad word] loser to do something like that

  3. weswelkerspornstash says: Feb 17, 2011 11:37 AM

    This guy better hope he gets with a federal charge. So, he can ask for a change of venue.

    What a complete dumbass!

    I’m embarrassed to be an SEC fan

  4. southernpatriots says: Feb 17, 2011 11:39 AM

    We and all our friends in Alabama, both Bama and Auburn fans, are happy this has happened. Maybe now there can be some help to replant trees. Is there a company in Tuscaloosa which are great Bama supporters and boosters that would donate large oak trees and alot of soil to Auburn? Don’t know that answer but it would be one scenario which would be a great gesture of true fairness and would get the donor a huge amount of free publicity and we believe great favor with the good Alabama and good Auburn fans alike. The state of Alabama has much to be proud of the past two seasons of college football. This is a great and unique situation. If fans and supporters can work to get this rectified quickly, then all can get back to enjoying the championships for the past two years! Our friends and relatives in Alabama are relieved the man is now caught. Now on the work of restoration and all that may involve.

  5. katanaguy says: Feb 17, 2011 12:01 PM

    I am a PAC 12 supporter, but I am so sorry for all the good folks in that area. You all certainly do not deserve this to happen at all.

    My goodness, what is happening in our world today? Here is hoping that if he is the one who did this that he goes away for a long long time,but let Bo Jackson have 15 minutes alone with him first!

  6. jburkl1 says: Feb 17, 2011 12:06 PM

    I’m not embarrassed to be an SEC fan but the majority of ‘Bama fans embarrass the SEC. It’s not just about the state of Alabama, the SEC has much to be proud of the past FIVE seasons of college football. College athletics are unique because they are driven by passion. Passion is what fuels rivalries. Rivalries make college football. If the Iron Bowl rivalry has escalated to this point, maybe AU-Bama should reconsider postponing their rivalry like they did in the ’80’s. This kind of stuff has no place for college athletics…or anywhere for that matter…

  7. techvet says: Feb 17, 2011 12:44 PM

    Since Bear Bryant never beat Notre Dame, Al may be visiting South Bend after he gets out of jail.

  8. jburkl1 says: Feb 17, 2011 12:49 PM

    The soil will be infected up to 5 years and any new tree planted until then will get infected. Southernpatriot is on to something though. Even though the University of Alabama had nothing to do with it, I think it would show great sportsmanship to the rivalry if they donated or helped try to replace what one of their fans destroyed. It does ultimately reflect back onto the university and it would help mitigate that. Every school has something unique that their fans tie their memories to, it’s a shame some idiot had to take that away from Auburn

  9. pr3zths says: Feb 17, 2011 12:51 PM

    Laugh, can anyone say he took the ‘Roll tide’ to a whole new level. Good one ESPN you helped on this one.

  10. overratedgators says: Feb 17, 2011 12:56 PM

    Techvet: once his fellow inmates find out he’s an ex-cop, he may end up visiting “South Bend” even sooner.

  11. Tim's Neighbor says: Feb 17, 2011 12:58 PM

    I’m embarrassed to live in SEC country. And I felt this way before this even happened.

  12. 2loko says: Feb 17, 2011 1:11 PM

    $50 that this guy will “be in tears” in court and say that he didn’t mean any of this to happen. ughhh

  13. weswelkerspornstash says: Feb 17, 2011 1:14 PM

    I think that’s a great idea.

    Somebody please tell Al from Dooshville that the cold war is over. It’s time to put the nuke’s away.

  14. buckeye4278 says: Feb 17, 2011 1:47 PM

    I was actually listening to the Finnebaum show(it’s like a traffic accident you can’t look away from) when this guy called and I absolutely thought he had to be joking. I feel for the Auburn fans. As a fan of college football you hate to see things taken to far and something 130 years in the making and irreplaceable as the trees destroyed.

  15. stairwayto7 says: Feb 17, 2011 2:12 PM

    I would be embarred just to live in SEC country! Typical SEC hillbilly poisoning trees..who will his sister date on a Friday night now?

  16. Deb says: Feb 17, 2011 2:37 PM

    Like the majority of Bama fans, I’m heartbroken. Our rivalry with Auburn is part of our heritage and Toomer’s Corner is as much a part of the tradition as the houndstooth I received for Christmas. This sad, demented man has wrecked his own life, needlessly destroyed a natural landmark, robbed a school of its history, and probably incited more sad, demented people. What a terrible waste.

    @jburkl1 …

    You have a right to be upset, but you are an idiot for saying the majority of Bama embarrass the SEC. The majority of Bama fans don’t condone the sick act of a single disturbed individual. Many more than one disturbed Auburn fan went to Toomer’s Corner to celebrate the death of Bear Bryant. And he was a human being, not a tree, so let’s keep things in perspective, shall we? Auburn fans have no room to talk about the classlessness of other schools.

    Yes, it would be a nice gesture if Alabama helped replace the trees … where Auburn fans once celebrated the death of their coach.

    @stairwayto7 …

    People in Pittsburgh, which is a stone’s throw from the West Virginia hills, don’t have much room to talk when it comes to hillbillies. Your bigotry and poor sportsmanship continues to embarrass Steelers fans.

  17. bamasucks says: Feb 17, 2011 2:52 PM


    Toomer’s Corner wasn’t rolled when Bear Bryant passed away. post some pics or a link to something that would support this BS. not surprised that you’re one of the bama fans that tries to perpetuate this myth.

    and yes. most bama fans are an embarrassment to the conference. if anyone doesn’t believe me, feel free to pick any random Alabama message board and check it out for yourself…. or better yet, go to a game in Tuscaloosa.

  18. dbeehner says: Feb 17, 2011 3:01 PM

    Homeboy needs to have his nuts nailed to a stump, then forced to run laps around it.

  19. alan3008 says: Feb 17, 2011 3:05 PM

    What a total jerk. They should make him drink a cup of Spike 80.

  20. jburkl1 says: Feb 17, 2011 3:12 PM

    Deb, I know many people from many different SEC schools and they all agree that the majority of ‘Bama fans are the rudest and most disrespectful. So you have the right to be offended by this shared view of many outside of Tuscaloosa but I have witnessed it first hand in T-town and by no means am I an idiot for being embarrassed of fans that act the way they did. Celebrating the death of Bear Bryant is class-less…so with things in perspective… deliberately killing historical 150 year old trees along with part of Auburn’s legacy still seems more malicious than “celebrating” the death of Bear Bryant and temporarily hurting people’s feelings. For clarification, I am NOT an Auburn fan, but I am a fan of the SEC. So don’t take it so personal when I say it doesn’t surprise me that an Alabama fan did this

  21. irishr1 says: Feb 17, 2011 3:13 PM

    Yeehawwww, let’s fire up the ol’ pickup, drink a little shine and cause sum mayhem with them Auburn pansies.

    The best punishment for this guy? Hang him from the same tree he poisoned.

  22. alan3008 says: Feb 17, 2011 3:25 PM

    I hope Auburn is doing all it can to save the trees. The trees seem to be surrounded by a sidewalk and concrete curb. The first thing would be to scrape as much of the upper foot of soil away from the roots and replace it with new soil. If he only recently did this, they should be able to get most of the herbicide. The trees’ age and deep roots may give them a fighting chance to survive. They should also drag that guys ass out there and ask exactly how he applied the herbicide.

  23. leanderm says: Feb 17, 2011 3:30 PM

    Legalize pot and mellow out people.

  24. pnoty96 says: Feb 17, 2011 3:30 PM

    Someone above made a GREAT point….reaction to injuries in humans vs. Trees (non-humans). While this guy was horrible, an ex-cop, imagine what he POSSIBLY did to some humans in his custody, etc. Think an investigation may be in order. Additionally, ..maybe PETA can form an offshoot called PETT and they can follow this guy around the rest of his life like they do Michael Vick, and harass him for harming cute innocent fuzzy trees. That will never happen though, as most of the Vick outrage is due to his “KNEE-GROW” status.

  25. gatiger says: Feb 17, 2011 3:31 PM

    Auburn Fan here, but to say that idiot represents Bama is wrong. There are overzealous idiots wearing all colors. This is an egregious act that I hope stops here.

    College football is supposed to be fun. Some of the comments I see on here tend to get a little mean-spirited, one step away from something really bad….your picture in the paper and on tv kind of thing.

  26. lasseter1113 says: Feb 17, 2011 3:39 PM

    You know all of you idiots that keep taking shots at Alabama fans and the state of Alabama in general need to shut the hell up. Every team in the SEC has obsessed fans and the only reason ANY SINGLE ONE OF YOU has something bad to say about Alabama is because we BEAT YOU all the time. I am sorry this nut job did this but DON’T any of you DARE look down your noses at us. Take a look around you. I have been all over the united states and I can guarantee you one thing, there isn’t one single state that doesn’t have it’s fair share of thugs, ass-holes, hillbilles, jerks, idiots, gangsters, and just dumb people in general. I am very proud to call the university of Alabama my alma mater and all you jealous bigots out there can go f**k yourself. Do you ever hear us making fun of your state? That’s my mother, my children, everyone I love that your making fun of and that you know NOTHING about. I am proud to be from Alabama, I am proud to be an American, and I am VERY proud to be an Alabama fan. Roll Tide Roll!!!

  27. osw4seen says: Feb 17, 2011 3:40 PM

    To Deb:

    The whole rolling Toomer’s Corner upon hearing of the death of Bear Bryant is a fabricated story. It never happened, and actually the town of Auburn mourned with black ribbons on street posts and flags at half staff.

    I wish someone would come forth with evidence that this occurred as Bama fans are saying. I have looked everywhere I have access to and have found nothing of the sort. The idiot who commited this crime stated on the Paul Finebaum show that he still had the clipping from the newspaper showing where we rolled it. Bull….

    If he has a copy, how does no one else have it???? It’s a story, made up most likely by Bama fans, to quote un-quote, “stir the pot”.

    You know part of me wants to be the bigger person and say “what a shame” and “we are better than that”. At the same time tho, part of me wants to flip off every Bama fan and wipe that sh!t-eating grin off there face. I still haven’t decided which path to choose just yet……but your ignorance on the topic doesn’t help!!!

  28. chinesebandit says: Feb 17, 2011 3:42 PM

    typical Bama fan…

  29. osw4seen says: Feb 17, 2011 3:44 PM


    you really helped Bama’s case by telling everyone to go f**k themselves. That’s the exact lack of class that a lot (not all) but a lot of Bama fans carry around!! Thanks for helping make my point!!

  30. lasseter1113 says: Feb 17, 2011 3:47 PM

    Thank you gatiger, it’s nice to know that some people actually see it the way it really is! I am very sorry about what happened to Auburn and the trees at Toomer’s corner. We are not bad people here and we are not stupid rednecks that commit incest. We are proud passionate people who love our state and love our college football teams. If that’s wrong then I don’t want to be right.

  31. chinesebandit says: Feb 17, 2011 3:54 PM

    “the only reason ANY SINGLE ONE OF YOU has something bad to say about Alabama is because we BEAT YOU all the time.”

    well…’Bama has only beat LSU 3 times in the past 10 years. I guess I should keep my mouth shut…

  32. katanaguy says: Feb 17, 2011 3:57 PM

    yes, please do for all of us. Thank you

  33. lasseter1113 says: Feb 17, 2011 4:03 PM

    HEY own4see,

    I guess flipping people off is just the classiest thing on earth. I didn’t tell everyone to go f**k themselves if you read what I wrote it was just JEALOUS BIGOTS like YOU!!! I guess whatever team you pull for wrote the book on class right? If your from Alabama then you have to be the biggest idiot I have ever come across in my life. THE BIGGEST. I am talking about people taking shots at Alabama as a state and other SEC teams trying to look down their nose at us because of what one man did. I said I am truly truly sorry about what happened but it’s no reason to try and put my family or my team down. Thank you for proving my point the world is full of idiots and losers because you my friend take the cake!!!

  34. southernpatriots says: Feb 17, 2011 4:06 PM

    Several relatives and friends in Auburn have telephoned to see if they can do anything to help. The officials there said, “Not yet.” Then they said the efforts to ascertain the extent of the devastation (CSS reported that it would likely affect all the trees and bushes in front of the president’s house) are still ongoing. If you live near there then you know the trench that has been dug and other measures are being taken to limit the spread to other areas. Those able to do something who are Alabama fans or boosters may check with the Auburn administration on whether they would accept a gift of replacement trees, soil, work, etc. Our heart hurts for those of Auburn (and the good fans of Alabama also who are being painted with a broad brush to be similar to this crazed man). This is truly sad.

  35. weswelkerspornstash says: Feb 17, 2011 4:09 PM

    Calm down!!

    Don’t get yourself so worked up. At least don’t take it out on any tree’s.

    Here’s a complament to your forestry program.

  36. au9396 says: Feb 17, 2011 4:14 PM


    You are correct. I do look down my nose at you.


  37. lasseter1113 says: Feb 17, 2011 4:15 PM

    I am not trying to get in a fight with anybody on here. Congratulations LSU on beating Alabama 7 out of the last 10 times. Whatever, some of you seemed to miss my point and I shouldn’t have said that about being mad because we beat you all the time I was just seeing red but that doesn’t change the fact that people are taking cheap shots at us everywhere you look and I don’t think we deserve it. That is all……

  38. osw4seen says: Feb 17, 2011 4:17 PM

    Wow, this is going to take on a whole life of it’s on. Didn’t realize I was a JEALOUS BIGOT!!! Ouch! I love the rivalry and always will, it just gets to me when people do something this stupid that hurts more than themselves. It is what it is, it can’t be undone, and that line has been crossed. Let’s try to keep it in perspective. No harm meant by previous comments………………that’s all I’ve got to say!!

    WAR EAGLE!!!!!

  39. lasseter1113 says: Feb 17, 2011 4:22 PM

    au9396- Your the exact reason that everybody is making fun of us. I could care less right now about the Iron bowl and I am feeling very bad for the Auburn nation as a whole. Then here you come throwing up a stupid score in my face.

  40. Deb says: Feb 17, 2011 4:27 PM

    @bamasucks …

    Your username underscores your level of “class.”

    @jburkl1 …

    So you’re not an Auburn fan but know fans from all over the SEC who think Bama supporters are the rudest and thought you’d help out by sharing the results of your objective polling at this sensitive time. And of course, your personal polling on this subject is an accurate reflection of sentiment throughout the SEC. :roll: Please don’t post anything else. You’re only lending credence to Stairwayto7’s claims about the stupidity of SEC fans.

    @gatiger …

    Thank you for a rational post. Again, we are all brokenhearted about this lunatic’s actions and pray the trees can be saved.

  41. oemmom says: Feb 17, 2011 4:34 PM

    The Forestry Dept at Auburn University has been aware of the delicate nature of the “live oak” trees. They are not native to the area – Auburn is too far north for the good health of the trees. They are right on an extremely busy intersection. And the decades old tradition of Rolling Toomer’s Corner and the subsequent removal of the toilet paper takes its toll on the trees.

    For a number of years now, the Forestry Dept has been collecting acorns from the trees and raising seedlings.

    Part of the problem with this herbicide is the way it spreads and remains in the soil for years. So far they haven’t said exactly how far they think this poison has spread, but they are actively working to limit the impact to the shrubbery and other trees around the oldest building on campus.

    Other trees are up and down the street. They haven’t indicated the impact on them yet. Don’t be surprised to see them remove all the poisoned soil and replace it. (that’s my guess) That would be a massive undertaking.

  42. Deb says: Feb 17, 2011 4:34 PM

    @ows4seen …

    To paraphrase a line from Coal Miner’s Daughter, I don’t know who you are, but your behavior demonstrates what you are. Your comment about wiping sh*t-eating grins off faces of Alabama people speaks for itself. Few CFT commenters will wallow in your kind of garbage.

  43. WingT says: Feb 17, 2011 4:41 PM

    I am just at a loss as to what to say. My deepest regrets go out to the Auburn Tigers. I wish there was a way to make this right for the Auburn fans. Maybe this can serve as a wake up call for Alabama fans to stop with all the hatred.

    I read some interesting quotes – thought I would pass them along;

    Pat Dye
    “Anyone who would do that would poison your children or poison your dog,” Dye said. “He needs to pay a price. I believe most of the Alabama people would agree with me. The smart and intelligent Alabama people are embarrassed and ashamed. This isn’t a cultural thing; it’s an individual act.”

    Charles Barkley
    “The rivalry has gotten out of hand,” Barkley said. “To have two great teams like we do, you should be proud of it. But Auburn people have an inferiority complex, and Alabama people have a superiority complex. It’s always been that way.”

    Paul Finebaum
    “Most people seemed very celebratory after [Alabama won a BCS title in 2009],” Finebaum said. “It was really a special time to be in the state. This time it’s different. Most Alabama fans are angry because they don’t believe [Auburn’s championship] is legitimate. They don’t believe Cam Newton should have been eligible.”

    “I almost hate to say what I should say — that perhaps I’m surprised we haven’t seen anything worse,” Finebaum said. “I think it will get worse. I really do.”

  44. osw4seen says: Feb 17, 2011 4:43 PM


    and yet you still make no mention of the fact that what you posted earlier was totally incorrect (the rolling of Toomer’s at Bear’s death). Few will wallow in my “garbage” but unfortuanately, many will read your earlier post and mistake it for the truth. And that’s how this wheel keeps rolling……..

  45. bamasucks says: Feb 17, 2011 4:46 PM

    Deb, it’s weird but i came up with the username after reading one of your posts. i was going to go with “BuckFama” but it was already taken.

  46. buckeyeboy(used to be a couple of different things) says: Feb 17, 2011 4:49 PM

    will there be a funeral?

    oh wait its not a person, its a tree……

    but I do feel bad for them that their symbol has been lost.

  47. lasseter1113 says: Feb 17, 2011 4:50 PM

    The only reason is will get any worse is because of the media spinning this out of control. Anybody on the outside looking in must think we live on different sides of the state with a moat between us. Auburn and Alabama fans eat, sleep, and work beside each other every single day. We are married to each other we are best friends with each other. My best friend is an Auburn fan. It’s not half as bad has they are making this out to be. Once again it is a terrible thing that happened but we will get through this.

    BTW, Paul Finebaum is loving this because it is giving him tons of free publicity!!! He is an instigator and shouldn’t be taken seriously for anything he says.

  48. lbijake says: Feb 17, 2011 4:56 PM

    I am glad that this man has been cauht. I was fearful that Michael Vick was going to be accused of running an interstate tree fighting ring.

  49. realist67 says: Feb 17, 2011 4:58 PM

    This is disgusting behavior. I am sorry to both Auburn and Alabama fans that this jerk-off even exists. As much of a sports fan as I consider myself, this is a prime example of taking things waaaaay too seriously and some buffoon doing something I can only hope he now deeply regrets.

    As fun and exciting as it can get, this is ENTERTAINMENT. Unless you are the one throwing, carrying, or kicking the damn ball sit down and CALM down.

    So Lasseter1113:

    I’m sure you are otherwise a fine person, but how long have you been out of school at Bama? Let it go and stop using the secret handshake, you’re all growed up now.

    And have a sense of humor. Alabama: Darwin’s waiting room!

  50. southernpatriots says: Feb 17, 2011 4:59 PM

    Latest family has heard is the following which is also being reported by “Stephen Enloe, an assistant professor of agronomy and soil, said consultation with experts around the country indicated that there was “a very low probability” that the trees will survive because of the concentration of the herbicide found in the soil.

    I have celebrated many times with friends, family, with the undergraduates after Auburn victories,” Enloe said. “And it’s just an incredible travesty to see this kind of malicious act occur and it breaks my heart to see somebody so willfully destroy such an incredible cultural landmark for the city of Auburn, for Auburn University.”

    We cannot have said it better ourselves. May somehow, someway, greater cooperation and understanding come forth from this terrible destructive action! We are so sorry to hear of this poisoning of these venerable landmarks and icons. Our best to sound minded and true Auburn and sound minded and true Alabama alumni and fans!

  51. tide4life says: Feb 17, 2011 5:01 PM

    This doucher’s mug shot looks like Rush Limburger; that alone is reason enough to throw him in jail.

  52. jburkl1 says: Feb 17, 2011 5:01 PM

    Well Deb, maybe it was a little bit of an overstatement to include the entire SEC. However, I have been to most of the SEC stadiums and my experience at Alabama was by far the worst. I know everybody has fans that they aren’t proud of but there seemed to be a lot more of them in Tuscaloosa. They acted like the type of people to poison Toomer’s trees…or to add “Take the Money and run” and “Son of a Preacher Man” to the playlist when Auburn came out of the tunnel. So I apologize if I offended some of the good fans. I’m done. Please don’t post anymore biased comments. We get it, roll tide. 😉

  53. buckeyeboy(used to be a couple of different things) says: Feb 17, 2011 5:05 PM

    how long will this pity party continue, from southernpartiots being on suicide to realist67 and others talking about how people screaming, yelling, and people going insane for their schools need to calm down but yet claims that the sec has the most passion……..

    that being said, does auburn have a tiger they can toss this guy to?

  54. tide4life says: Feb 17, 2011 5:11 PM

    jburkl1 says:
    Feb 17, 2011 3:12 PM
    “Deb, I know many people from many different SEC schools and they all agree that the majority of ‘Bama fans are the rudest and most disrespectful.”
    Pure boolsheet; you cannot back that up with anything but another lie. Why must you fabricate such tripe? Several friends at the UA-USC game on 10/9 told ME that the Bama fans there were almost universally polite and well-behaved; even heard the same from dear friends who are, bless their idiot hearts, AU fans.
    You lack any semblance of class.

  55. oemmom says: Feb 17, 2011 5:16 PM

    buckeyeboy – no, the Veterinary school at AU is home to the Raptor center and helps to care for and rehabilitate Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, and other raptors. (It was Auburn’s eagle that flew around the stadium at the BCS Championship game and at the Winter Olympics in Utah.)

    I would say let the eagle feed on the cretin, but that might poison the eagle!

  56. jburkl1 says: Feb 17, 2011 5:28 PM


    I clarified the statement and apologized for the embellishment. The “lies” that you are referring to are in fact more than one personal account. Nobody is trying to get in a pissing contest. So defend yourself all you want…and stay classy.

  57. oemmom says: Feb 17, 2011 5:33 PM

    Most of the UAT comments that I have seen today have denigrated and disowned the cretin who did this vandalism.

    HOWEVER, some of the UAT forums are alight with their support of the idiot and mocking of Auburn University and their traditions.

  58. oemmom says: Feb 17, 2011 5:43 PM

    alan3008 – although I think there are concrete curbs along the road, I think the other surfaces are more porous. There’s NOT a foot of topsoil over the roots. One of the officials made the comment that the root system for these trees is so dense that it was difficult to obtain deep soil samples immediately around the trees. One of the solutions that was offered was to wash away much of the soil around the roots with something like a charcoal wash.

    Be assured that Auburn University has excellent Agricultural and Forrestry resources. Between the minds on campus, the Alumni, and offers of assistance from all over the USA, what can be done will be done.

  59. liquidalfa says: Feb 17, 2011 5:51 PM

    Congratulations State of Alabama. The rest of the country is laughing at you. Again.

  60. Truckmounts says: Feb 17, 2011 5:57 PM

    strange, strange people.

  61. weswelkerspornstash says: Feb 17, 2011 6:00 PM

    As I once heard Terry Bowden say during an interview on the Tony Bruno Show, ” somebody is going to get shot in a trailer park some in the state of Alabama tonight”.

  62. lasseter1113 says: Feb 17, 2011 6:29 PM

    @liquidalfa- laugh all you want idiot, where are you from? That’s what I thought. Keep your stupid discriminating comments to yourself.

  63. liquidalfa says: Feb 17, 2011 6:33 PM


    I’m not from Alabama. Thank God.

  64. southernpatriots says: Feb 17, 2011 7:54 PM

    buckeyeboy: Auburn has a beautiful mascot, an American eagle. However, LSU has a Bengal tiger. Maybe LSU will be willing to do Auburn a favor and feed the tiger some idiot for lunch? Naw, we do not wish him harm, just force him to make complete restitution. However, we wonder how he will would make full restitution when he apparently needed a court appointed (free) lawyer?

  65. Deb says: Feb 17, 2011 8:44 PM

    @liquidalfa …

    I’m not from Alabama either, but much of my family is and they are exceptional, hard-working people, many of whom have advanced degrees, and all of whom spend their free time working for the benefit of others. Their character is so far beyond yours, it’s a shame to mention you in the same paragraph.

    Alabama, like all states, is filled with saints and scholars and eccentrics and everyday people … and unfortunately, a few lunatics like the one that committed this act of insanity. Someone who would damn an entire state for one person’s behavior and use this opportunity to spew his bigotry is no better than that nut. Pity the poor state that has to claim you.

  66. Deb says: Feb 17, 2011 9:15 PM

    @osw4seen …

    As I’ve said, I have many friends who are Auburn grads. Those Auburn fans who’ve told us they or their friends/relatives were present for the rolling of Toomer’s Corner when Bear died still insist they were there and that it did take place. So I’m not spreading a rumor started by Bama fans.

    But that’s not the issue. Like most Alabama families, mine also includes diehard Auburn fans that I love dearly. The point is that you don’t tar an entire fanbase because of the actions of one person.

  67. southernpatriots says: Feb 17, 2011 9:17 PM

    Deb: Amen! My wife in now back in the hospital but I have been helping and following the postings. What is wrong with some people? This situation is a shame! Two precious mascot bulldogs (Uga) dying at Georgia is a shame! Why do people have to make fun of it and then brand everyone a hillbilly, redneck, etc. I am full blooded Cajun but when I was working hard in the fields in South Louisiana when I was a boy and young man, I had a red neck, red face, red arms, etc. Thank you for straightening out some which appear to want to be up to no good.

  68. oemmom says: Feb 17, 2011 9:23 PM

    SouthernPatriots – are you a Georgia fan? I was so sorry to hear about UGA’s passing. Didn’t realize a second one had passed.

  69. southernpatriots says: Feb 17, 2011 9:59 PM

    We are SEC fans, especially LSU fans, but we have a very soft spot for Georgia. One of our family, our brother in law is a former player for the Dawgs and a good one at that (in the dinosaur age, like all of us! ) so we often pull for Georgia against any team in the SEC West (except LSU) and against ALL non-conference opponents.

    UGA’s precious charismatic mascot Uga VII died of a heart attack 11-19-09 (and reigned only about 2 years) and recently Uga VIII “Big Bad Bruce” born 9-12-09 and died this month on the 4th. The sad thing is that so many fans of the Big 10, Big 12, etc. posted ridicule and derisive comments about their deaths.

  70. Deb says: Feb 17, 2011 10:11 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    So sorry to hear she is back in the hospital. Please give her my best.

    I don’t know why people love to take shots at the South or think that when one person does something crazy it’s indicative of millions of people. And there’s nothing wrong with hard work. My dad grew up picking cotton in the fields and had a red neck of his own, but his hard work put his children through college and his son through law school. My brother received a very prestigious honor today, so Daddy did well by us :)

    Sorry to hear about the latest Uga. Have heard that bulldogs have shorter lifespans than other dog breeds. He may not be the fiercest mascot in the SEC, but he is the cutest.

  71. pootinnewton says: Feb 17, 2011 11:29 PM

    bama celebrates this momentous occasion

  72. masterofthegridiron says: Feb 17, 2011 11:44 PM

    it’s a tree…roll damn tide LMAO btw i hate both teams in Alabama, but this is just funny

  73. pootinnewton says: Feb 18, 2011 12:01 AM

    authored by my good friend NJBama

    I THINK that I shall never see
    A thing as dead as auburn’s tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is stuffed
    With toilet paper 3 ply, puffed;

    A tree that prays they lose the game,
    Or live with toilet paper shame;

    A tree that may in Autumn wear
    A nest of Charmin in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom leaves are squashed;
    By a redneck; pressure washed.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But someone else has killed that tree

  74. pootinnewton says: Feb 18, 2011 12:15 AM

    Originally Posted by NJBama

    I personally wouldn’t put it past those cow molesters to have made this whole thing up to try and make Bama fans look bad

  75. southernpatriots says: Feb 18, 2011 1:55 AM

    Deb: Thank you. When we met the previous 3 Ugas each time these beautiful English bulldogs were licking the outstretched hands of children with a big smile on his face. The children were giggling and laughing and he seemed to really enjoy this. Uga VI (1999-2008) reigned so long that I think it gave us fans an unrealistic expectation on the their length of life. The last two had short lifespans.

    Talking about taking shots at the South or at Alabama (it seems it is pile on Alabama season?), read the last few postings. We used to have good hearted rivalries. Most of it involved toilet paper and kidnapping the others mascot or costume (from Tulane, Ole Miss, Miss. State, Arkansas, Rice, and I think one time FL) but I won’t give any details to protect the guilty! Nothing was done that was permanent and we would get as much as we gave out. The fervor of “hatred” between fans now has gone too far. I hope, we all hope, that something will be done to help bring a healing, because what has been done by two universities in Alabama is most extraordinary over the past 2 years. Have a great evening. I am on my way to the hospital.

  76. joerevs300 says: Feb 18, 2011 8:10 AM

    I was really jamming at work yesterday and then all of a sudden I saw this story break.

    Not only is it horrible that one of the best traditions and rivalries in college football won’t be defined by what’s happened on the field but what one crazed, lunatic fan did in hatred of his rival.

    This isn’t to the level of some other things (shootings, stabbings, etc.) that have injured and even killed fellow fans after games. But what it will rob people of is future memories and this tradition that is Toomer’s Corner.

    All you can do is pray that God will not let this one man take away something that is so precious to tens of thousands of fans. Because there’s plenty of times where people said it would be “miraculous” or “impossible” and yet…those miracles happened.

  77. dkhhuey says: Feb 18, 2011 10:25 AM

    As an Ohio State grad and devout Buckeye man, I hate absolutely everything about the ugly helmet wearing wolverines – but at no time did I ever think of doing anything like this!

    Passion is what makes college football what it is today but this type of behavior is just plain wrong on every single level! It is sad to see something that obviously touches so many individuals lives in a positive manner destroyed by the one disgusting person. I am sure that the University of Auburn and its fans will restore/replace the tree and continue on with the tradition but right now, this just plain sucks!

  78. southernpatriots says: Feb 18, 2011 10:57 AM

    dkhhuey: Thank you. We may have many disagreements about SEC-Ohio State competitions since we are LSU grads and devout Tigers fans and we have some of the same type of feelings (we think it is genetic…about Ole Miss) but we commend your posting for great thought and encouragement. It appears that some take college football rivalries past the norm and past what is acceptable. It looks like unless a miracle happens, the two iconic 130 year old venerable oak trees will die. The Auburn folks are trying to prevent the death of all the other tres (magnolias, live oaks, etc.) and all shrubs. Our family and friends have driven by and see so many people working, area cordoned off, tests being done, soil samples, excavations, ditch dug, etc. so they seem to be trying everything they know in consultation with the best experts in the country.

  79. dkhhuey says: Feb 18, 2011 11:58 AM

    @southern – something like this just violates everything decent sane fans believe in and hold sacred. We trash talk and bash each other, sometimes the heat and intensity gets high, but we do it because we are passionate about our schools and it ends there. We spent great many days on campus absorbing the experience and traditions of those great universities. They are so entrenched in our communities and state that it captures even those that did not attend. That is amazingly powerful but unfortunately, some individuals with some defective wiring take it way too far. I was not aware of this tradition on this story broke but I most certainly understand the depth at which it impacts the Auburn Nation for traditions like these are present on every campus. I most certainly empathize with Auburn and the fans right now because it is just something that, until now, was just unthinkable and unimaginable.

  80. Deb says: Feb 18, 2011 1:30 PM


    Apparently you never had the opportunity to attend a university and participate in college traditions. This would be like someone poisoning the cherry trees on the mall in DC. I’m sorry you don’t understand that it’s wrong to destroy someone else’s property, much less a university landmark. :roll:

    And it’s also sad that you have no appreciation for nature. Live oaks can’t simply be replanted. It takes decades for them to achieve maturity.

    What’s more, a 62-year-old man engaging in this type behavior clearly has some emotional/mental health issues.

    So nothing about this is funny, and you embarrass yourself.

  81. stairwayto7 says: Feb 18, 2011 4:27 PM

    They are trees! These hicks are treating them like a human being! What else do you expect from southern SEC hicks?

  82. kwajmahall says: Feb 18, 2011 6:24 PM

    If they were “just trees” nothing would have happened to them. This person knew that they were part of an important part of the Auburn campus and tradition, and targeted them as such.

    A deranged act by a strange man that has humiliated one side of our rivalry and heartbroken the other.

  83. PanchoHerreraFanClub says: Feb 18, 2011 6:55 PM

    This guy is just a typical ‘Bama fan. It is a shame that Treebeard to kick a little human butt around.

  84. auburnatl says: Feb 19, 2011 12:25 AM

    This guy (UPDYKE) UP….. needs to be duck taped to those trees and see how many show up for Auburn Spirit.
    This is a National Monument and should be treated as one legally. If it takes all Alum and current students to write to the judge for this case and plead that he get the FULL 10 YEARS.Lets see how he likes the law now!!

  85. southernpatriots says: Feb 19, 2011 8:37 AM

    Latest word we have heard (and we think this may be posted on CFT as well): the “alleged” deranged vandal was unable to afford an attorney so the court appointed one for him. This attorney has asked to recuse himself due to conflict of interest. The attorney represents Auburn University in various matters. So the bottom line is the defendant could not afford an attorney, but was able to post $50,000 bond to be released from jail. Hmmm! Could not afford an attorney, but could post $50,000 to get his behind out of jail?! Somehow, it seems doubtful that Auburn University will receive any restitution from this guy. Alabama is raising money for the effort to save or replace the venerable iconic 130 year old oak trees at Toomer’s Corner. $6000 in 24 hours was raised. Great effort Bama! Keep up the good work, to help heal the actions of one crazed Bama fan, not all fans of Bama, please all keep this in mind, the actions of one crazed Bama fan.

  86. southernpatriots says: Feb 19, 2011 8:44 AM

    We thought that we should post this great poem which reflects the sentiments of so many AU fans and alums and friends throughout the SEC, U.S. and world:

    Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918


    I THINK that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.

    A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
    Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

    A tree that may in summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;

    Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
    Who intimately lives with rain.

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

  87. southernpatriots says: Feb 21, 2011 10:57 AM

    We need to forget this demented man now. He probably will plead guilty or “not guilty by reason of diminished capacity” with a trial which probably will not take place by this time next year. As with Auburn staff and experts, trying to save the trees, and if not, some replacement of those venerable iconic trees with the largest transplants possible (we would suggest), hopefully, a gift from an Alabama fan. The great Facebook fund raising to help with the expenses of this situation is ongoing. Collection points remain in Tuscaloosa and in Auburn, new ones being set up soon. We have given to the Facebook site and we will give again today, and hope to do so on a weekly basis. All you that wish to give you can go to Facebook and give through PayPal. We are in solidarity with the students, staff, fans, and boosters of the University of Alabama who are reaching out a helping hand to their across state rivals in Auburn. Thank you Bama! Great work!

  88. mrrogers007 says: Feb 26, 2011 8:59 PM

    something is defiently wrong with this guys thought processess

    1 to even think about doing something like this
    2 to call up a radio station and admit to doing it
    i hope they at least take the 5k he had to put down as damages to be used to help save the tree
    10k wouldnt be out of line tho and the cost could conciveably get that high sounds like

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