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

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

The elder Updyke wrote a brand new chapter in Alabama-Auburn lore when, in January 2011, he referred to as Paul Finebaum’s radio program beneath an alias and took credit score for poisoning two 130-year-old oak bushes 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 referred to 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 wish to be remembered.

“I simply don’t desire it to be my legacy,” Updyke mentioned, per an Related Press article on the time. “I do not wish to go to my grave saying, ‘Harvey the tree poisoner.’ I believe in my life I’ve completed plenty of good issues, and undoubtedly that wasn’t one in every of them.”

Updyke agreed in 2013 to plead responsible to a felony depend linked 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 bushes in 2013. They’ve been changed twice since, the primary time after a fireplace.

Updyke’s disdain for Auburn by no means subsided. Final 12 months, he informed CBS Information’ Mo Rocca he poisoned the bushes as a result of “I needed Auburn folks to hate me as a lot as I hate them.”

“Once I depart this world, I need folks to say he was a very good father, he was a very good stepfather, and he was a really, excellent Alabama fan.” Updyke informed Rocca. “I admit I, I like them an excessive amount of.”

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