“This year, everybody knows what we’re doing,” says defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. “It’s been much more comfortable in the system. We just have a better feel for our football team right now.”
Auburn football fans might finally be able to seek their revenge against Harvey Updyke.
Updkye, the Alabama fan who infamously poisoned Auburn’s beloved oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in 2010, has agreed to appear at a charity event Sept. 27 in Mobile, Alabama, in which fans will be allowed to either dunk him in a dunking booth or throw pies at his face.
“He thought about it and thought about it,” Updyke’s wife, Elva, said. “His daughter said he needed to do it because it will show that he’s not as big of a nut as some people believe. He told them they can do whatever they want to him if it will raise money for kids.”
T.J. Hodges, an Alabama fan living near Chicago, is organizing the event to help raise money for the family of John Oliver, a boy from outside Mobile who died of cancer in July. Hodges started a nonprofit organization, Roses From Linda, after his mother passed away that helps raise money for family members to visit terminally ill patients before they die.
Hodges said he’s still working out the particulars of the event, but former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, now with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, and his mother, Dee Dee Bonner, are helping organize and raise awareness for the charity event.
“The Harvey Updyke idea came from me thinking outside the box to raise money for the family,” Hodges said. “I thought I’d take a chance and see if Harvey was interested in helping, and he said he’d do whatever we wanted.”
Updyke, a former Texas state trooper, was arrested in February 2011 after a man calling himself “Al from Dadeville” phoned Paul Finebaum’s radio show and boasted of pouring herbicide around the 130-year-old oak trees following Auburn’s win over rival Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl. The caller signed off Finebaum’s radio show by saying, “Roll Damn Tide.”
Updyke pleaded guilty in March 2013 to one count of unlawful damage of an animal or crop facility. He was sentenced to six months in jail and served 76 days after being credited for 104 days of time already served.
Updyke, who now lives in Albany, Louisiana, also was sentenced to five years of probation and banned from attending any college sporting event for the rest of his life. In addition, he is prohibited from stepping foot on the Auburn campus again. A judge ordered Updyke to pay nearly $800,000 in restitution to Auburn University.
As part of his sentence, Updyke was banned from talking to the media.
Updyke’s wife said he realizes Auburn fans probably will show up at the Mobile charity event to take a shot at him.
“He knows there’s going to be a lot of Auburn fans there, but he doesn’t care,” Elva Updyke said. “He’s 65 years old. What are they going to do to him? They’ll have security there.”
AUBURN, Ala. — During the offseason, the City of Auburn took measures to protect fans from ticket counterfeiters. The Auburn City Council now requires individuals re-selling tickets within the Auburn City limits to have a permit. Additionally, Auburn Athletics offers tips for avoiding counterfeit tickets.
Permits will include a city-issued badge with photo identification. The permit does not legitimize the sellers as Auburn University representatives, nor does it validate the tickets they are selling. The purpose of the scalping permit is to provide Auburn police officers an opportunity to engage and identify individuals scalping tickets during Auburn Athletics events. Individuals that choose to purchase tickets from a scalper are encouraged to document the permit number.
“The purpose of this ordinance is not to prevent fans from selling occasional extra tickets,” said City of Auburn Chief of Police Paul Register. “There are those to come to Auburn for the sole purpose of re-selling tickets for profit; the scalping ordinance is an effort on the part of the city of Auburn to aid in protecting fans from being the victim of counterfeit ticket purchases. While requiring scalpers to purchase a permit does not guarantee the validity of a ticket, it increases the likelihood of identifying those who intend to or have already sold counterfeit tickets to unsuspecting fans.”
Despite the new permit, Auburn Athletics encourages fans to purchase from one of three legitimate ticketing sources: the Auburn Athletics ticket office, opponents’ ticket office and StubHub. Any tickets purchased outside of those three cannot be guaranteed.
StubHub is the only authorized re-seller of Auburn Athletics tickets. StubHub tickets are all delivered through either print-at-home tickets or mobile delivery for smart phones. A ticket purchased through StubHub invalidates the original ticket and replaces it as the valid ticket for that seat location.
The Auburn Athletics Ticket Office can verify the validity of tickets prior to fans arrival at Jordan-Hare Stadium, however, only for that moment. Tickets may become invalid if duplicated or sold online. Please call the Ticket Office at (334) 844-4040, Option 3 if you have any questions
Ticket holders should be aware of the potential risks of posting full pictures of their tickets, specifically the full bar code, on the internet in any way. The bar code is the most valuable piece of information on a ticket. Please treat it as you would your credit card information or social security number. Do not post a bar code in written or picture form online in any manner.
Fans that have ticket questions or problems on gameday are encouraged to visit one of six areas: the Auburn Arena box office located next to the scholarship entrance (open beginning at 8 a.m. for games that kick off before 1 p.m. and 10 a.m. for games that kick off after 1 p.m.), troubleshooting tents at Gates 0 and 13, the Jordan-Hare Stadium box offices on the West side and Northeast and Southeast corners.
All tickets are scanned before entry to Jordan-Hare stadium to verify their validity. Invalid, duplicate and counterfeit tickets will not grant entrance into the stadium. If any of these tickets are discovered once inside of the facility, the ticket holder will be escorted from the stadium by event staff or law enforcement personnel. Event staff personnel and ticket office staff will confiscate all fraudulent tickets for law enforcement purposes.
Fans are encouraged to use caution. If you see or suspect an individual is selling fraudulent tickets, please alert the nearest law enforcement official.