xHarvey Updyke, whose vandalism emphasized the absurd levels with which some college football fans engage in rivalry, has passed away. His son Bear Updyke told AL.com that his father died of natural causes on Thursday in Louisiana, where he lived.
The elder Updyke wrote a new chapter in Alabama-Auburn’s history when he called Paul Finebaum’s radio program under an alias in January 2011 and claimed credit for the poisoning of two 130-year-old oak trees in Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner the previous November. after his beloved Crimson lost Tide in the Iron Bowl.
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Three months later, he recalled Finebaum as himself after being arrested and expressing regret, uttering the now famous line about “too much” Bama in me. “He also said he didn’t want to be remembered.
“I just don’t want it to be my legacy,” said Updyke, according to an Associated Press article at the time. “I don’t want to go to my grave and say,” Harvey the tree poisoner. ” I think I’ve done a lot of good things in my life, and it was undoubtedly not one. ‘
Updyke agreed in 2013 to plead guilty to a crime count related to the poisoning. He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment – six months in the end – and a five-year probation period supervised. He was also ordered to pay $ 796,731.38 in restitution and expelled from the Auburn campus. AL.com reported on Thursday that Updyke had only repaid about $ 6,900 as of October 2019.
Auburn cut down the trees in 2013. Since then they have been replaced twice, the first time after a fire.
Updyke’s contempt for Auburn has never disappeared. Last year, he told CBS News’ Mo Rocca poisoned the trees because “I wanted Auburn people to hate me as much as I hate them.”
“When I leave this world, I want people to say that he was a good father, that he was a good stepfather, and that he was a very, very good Alabama fan.” Updyke told Rocca. “I admit I think they are too much.”