Harvey Updyke dies at 71; Alabama fan admitted poisoning Auburn timber

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xHarvey Updyke, whose act of vandalism highlighted the absurd ranges to which some faculty soccer followers take rivalries, has died. His son Bear Updyke told AL.com that his father died of pure causes Thursday in Louisiana, the place he was dwelling.

The elder Updyke wrote a brand new chapter in Alabama-Auburn lore when, in January 2011, he known as Paul Finebaum’s radio program below an alias and took credit score for poisoning two 130-year-old oak timber at Auburn’s Toomer’s Nook the earlier November after his beloved Crimson Tide misplaced within the Iron Bowl.

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Three months after that, he known as into Finebaum’s present once more as himself after being arrested and expressed regret, uttering the now-famous line about having “an excessive amount of ‘Bama in me.” He additionally spoke about how he did not need to be remembered.

“I simply don’t need it to be my legacy,” Updyke stated, per an Associated Press article at the time. “I do not need to go to my grave saying, ‘Harvey the tree poisoner.’ I believe in my life I’ve finished plenty of good issues, and undoubtedly that wasn’t certainly one of them.”

Updyke agreed in 2013 to plead responsible to a felony depend related to the poisoning. He was sentenced to a few years in jail — he ended up serving six months — and 5 years’ supervised probation. He was additionally ordered to pay $796,731.38 in restitution and banned from Auburn’s campus. AL.com reported Thursday that Updyke had solely repaid about $6,900 as of October 2019.

Auburn lower down the timber in 2013. They’ve been changed twice since, the primary time after a fireplace.

Updyke’s disdain for Auburn by no means subsided. Final yr, he told CBS News’ Mo Rocca he poisoned the timber as a result of “I wished Auburn folks to hate me as a lot as I hate them.”

“Once I go away this world, I would like folks to say he was father, he was stepfather, and he was a really, excellent Alabama fan.” Updyke advised Rocca. “I admit I, I like them an excessive amount of.”

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