Nov 25, 2017; Auburn, AL, USA; View of Toomer's Corner after the game between the Auburn Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

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Alabama fan who poisoned Auburn trees dies

Harvey Updyke, the Alabama football fan who infamously poisoned the iconic oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn in 2010, died Thursday at the age of 71, AL.com reported.

Updyke’s son Bear told the outlet that Harvey Updyke died on natural causes in Louisiana, where he had been living.

In 2011, a man called into sports talk radio show “The Paul Finebaum Show” claiming he had poisoned the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner — trees which Auburn students would famously toilet paper after the football team would win.

The caller said he poisoned the trees after the Tigers’ 2010 win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl. The man told Finebaum of the trees, “They’re not dead yet, but they definitely will die,” before famously ending the call with Finebaum with the line, “Roll Damn Tide!”

Analysis of the soil around the trees confirmed the existence of the poison, and the trees would be unable to recover. They eventually were removed and replaced.

Authorities ultimately tracked down Updyke — a former Texas state trooper — and he pleaded guilty in 2013 to a felony charge of criminal damage of an agricultural facility. He wound up spending more than two months in jail.

He was also ordered to pay $800,000 in penalties and restitution, but reportedly had only paid about $6,900 as of October 2019.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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