Alabama AD calls Toomer’s Corner poisoning ‘a terrible thing’

Special to the Ledger-EnquirerFebruary 17, 2011 

With news of the Toomer’s Corner tree poisoning going viral Wednesday afternoon came speculation of retribution on a Crimson Tide landmark in Tuscaloosa.

The fear wasn’t necessarily shared by University of Alabama officials who said they weren’t aware of any extra security or police presence ordered to guard the statues outside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

There are signs posted in the grass outside the north end zone “Walk of Champions” warning “this area is under video surveillance” although it was unclear if they were a response to pro-Auburn vandalism in the area that was relatively minor compared to what allegedly took place at Toomer’s Corner.

Since Auburn beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl in November, photos of a Cam Newton jersey taped on Bear Bryant’s statue hit the Internet. An Auburn sticker was also placed on Bryant’s likeness and more recently, the numbers “28-27” were burned into the grass outside the stadium in reference to the final score of the Tigers’ Iron Bowl win.

UA spokesperson Deborah Lane said the surveillance signs outside the stadium were not new and was unaware of any communications between the schools on the vandalism matter.

Alabama athletics director Mal Moore responded to the poisoning of the Auburn oak trees with a statement released by the university.

“It’s an awful act, a terrible thing to do,” the statement read. “A lot of what makes our two programs so special is our many unique traditions. So, hearing this about Toomer’s Corner is upsetting to me in several ways. I certainly hope that whomever is responsible is held accountable.”

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