College Sports

Alabama campus police ask alleged poisoner of Toomer's Corner oak trees Harvey Updyke to leave SEC softball tournament

The rumor mill churned throughout the afternoon. By early evening, the University of Alabama confirmed the latest twist in Harvey Updyke's strange story.

The Crimson Tide fan awaiting trial for allegedly poisoning the oak trees in Auburn's Toomer's Corner was back. This time he attempted to attend Alabama's 1-0 SEC softball semifinal win over Georgia in Tuscaloosa.

University officials quickly spiked that idea.

Updyke was asked to leave Rhoads Stadium by campus police, according to a statement released by the school. The retired Texas state trooper complied, according to the release distributed just after 6 p.m.

"Several months ago, the University issued a formal directive to Mr. Updyke stating that he is not to come to the University of Alabama campus," the statement read. "Mr. Updyke has no affiliation with the University of Alabama and does not represent the institution in any way."

The school would not comment further on the matter.

Updyke, 63, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges -- both felonies and misdemeanors -- stemming from the 2010 crime. The trees were reportedly poisoned with a heavy dose of herbicide following Auburn's historic comeback to win to beat Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl.

A trial date is set for June 25 in the case that's drawn national attention.

Updyke is accused of poisoning the two iconic oak trees best known for hosting Auburn University victory parties. News of the poisoning broke when Updyke, using the name "Al from Dadeville" called the Paul Finebaum Radio Network weeks after the alleged act. He was featured in an ESPN documentary spotlighting the Iron Bowl rivalry last fall. Updyke again caused a stir when he was photographed in New Orleans days before the Tide won the BCS national title in January.

School officials may have been tipped off to Updyke's interest in attending if they monitored one popular Alabama fan website.

A poster on a message board named "Alfromdadeville," inquired Thursday morning about the SEC softball tournament.

"If they win, what time do they play tomorrow," the poster asked. He later checked on ticket prices for the SEC softball tournament played in Tuscaloosa for the first time since 2004.

Alabama, the SEC tournament's top seed, will face Florida at noon today for the league title.

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