Harvey Updyke dunking booth and pie throw shut down after threats

Harvey Updyke poisoned the trees at Toomer's Corner in 2010.
Harvey Updyke poisoned the trees at Toomer's Corner in 2010. (USATSI)

Harvey Updyke, the man famous for poisoning the trees at Toomer's Corner, won't be in a dunk tank or getting pied in the face on Sept. 29, as many Auburn fans had hoped.

According to ESPN.com, the decision to remove Updyke from the event came Thursday after Dee Dee Bonner, AJ McCarron's mother, and Katherine Webb-McCarron received "death threats and ugly messages" on social media.

Bonner is helping T.J. Hodges organize an event in Mobile, Ala., to honor John Oliver, a boy who died from cancer in July. Updyke had agreed to sit in a dunking booth, take a pie in the face and "do whatever" the organizers wanted to raise money for charity. However, once news of the promotion broke it became clear that Updyke's presence would be a divisive issue. 

"It seems to be taking away from the primary purpose, which is raising awareness for children's cancer," Bonner told ESPN.com. "We don't want to take away from the focus. We needed to get away from it."

Bonner said that McCarron had nothing to do with organizing the specifics of the event, which is still scheduled to proceed without Updyke.

Updyke was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to unlawful damage of an animal or crop after poisoning the 130-year old oak trees at Toomer's Corner following the 2010 Iron Bowl. A judge ordered that he pay $800,000 in restitution to Auburn University and he has been banned from Auburn's campus for life. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories
    CBS Sports Shop