Daily Archives: April 20, 2011

Is this Updyke/Toomer's poisoning a state-wide embarrassment?

My previous posting called the continuing saga of Harvey Updyke, his alleged tree-poisoning and today’s alleged assault an embarrassment. I say that as a transplant to the state of Alabama who’s lived here for just two years.

So I put it to you, native Alabamians. Are you ashamed of this story and the light it shines on this state?

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Report: Updyke assaulted, taken to hospital

This story keeps getting more embarrassing for the state of Alabama.

Click here to read a quick story on the WFSA-TV website saying accused Toomer’s Corner tree poisoner Harvey Updyke was assaulted in an Auburn-area convenience store.

Update: Charles Goldberg of the Birmingham News has new details including an interview with the clerk at the convenience store where the attack allegedly took place. Click here for the story.

This is getting surreal, but when wasn’t this story?

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Accused Toomer's Corner poisoner Updyke appears in court

Here’s the latest from ace Associated Press reporter John Zenor reporting on the scene.

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — The lawyer for the man charged with poisoning landmark trees at Auburn’s Toomer’s Corner has waived a preliminary hearing in the case.

Defense attorney Glennon Threatt Jr. announced his decision during a court appearance Wednesday in Opelika with his client, Harvey Updyke Jr., who wore a crimson tie.

Threatt got his client’s bond conditions changed to allow Updyke to live with relatives in Louisiana.

Threatt had earlier tried to work out a plea deal with prosecutors, but they rejected it. He wanted his client to avoid serving any more time in jail. Threatt says he sought a deal because innocent people sometimes get convicted.

Updyke is free on bond after being charged with first-degree criminal mischief in the poisoning of the trees, where Auburn traditionally celebrates sports victories.

Penn State bringing 'White House' to Bama game

No, there won’t be an Obama sighting in Happy Valley when the Crimson Tide comes to town Sept. 10.

There will be a white house greeting Alabama’s first visit to Penn State since 1989. The school is doing one of those ever-popular wear white promotions for the inter-regional rivalry game.

Normally, I say these promotions lack any originality. Just ask Georgia.  But when Penn State does it, well, it’s awesome. Read more in the student paper The Daily Collegian by clicking here.

Here’s what it looked like in the past.

Live bloggin SEC football spring teleconference

Joker Phillips, Kentucky

  • That’s all drive safely.
  • Having his old boss Rick Minter on Wildcat staff is not weird, Phillips said.
  • Not pleased with receivers.
  • Pleased with QB Morgan Newton.
  • The Mariano Rivera of the SEC teleconference is up.

Gene Chizik, Auburn

  • Click. That was quick.
  • Does either QB have an edge? Question dodged well, not answered.
  • “Pleased with some of the progress,” begins long coach-speak discussion of spring. Maybe I’m getting jaded after 100 minutes of teleconferencing.
  • Tigers young, but full of energy. Strides made all over the place.

Dan Mullen, Mississippi State

  • I’m not going to lie. I zoned out for most of the past few minutes.
  • Mullen would not discuss injuries per program policy.
  • QB competition is “wide open.” Chris Relf hasn’t done “anything to not be our top quarterback.”

Mark Richt, Georgia

  • On locker room theft: “There’s not going to be any comment on this.”
  • QB Aaron Murry is “results oriented.”
  • Richt doesn’t want to shut down the Twitter pages of players saying they sacrifice enough to play football. If someone abuses it, they will get shut down, though.
  • Georgia keeps SEC batting .1000 with nobody having a bad spring practice.

Houston Nutt, Ole Miss

  • Black Bears Rebels also have QB issues, but Nutt was pleasantly surprised with those who are competing for top job.
  • On injured linebacker D.T. Shackleford from Austin High: He took complete ownership of defense.
  • Shackleford tore his knee up during spring practice.
  • The interior defensive line will be young, progress made.

Bobby Petrino, Arkansas

  • Having top four receivers back should help the new quarterbacks as they compete for the job.
  • QBs “have a ways to go,” replacing Ryan Mallett.
  • All coaches “doing good” when inevitably asked by reporters as ice breaker. Petrino among those feeling good this morning.
  • Looks forward to offseason.

Nick Saban, Alabama

  • Again said both AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims could both play.
  • “Not really” response when asked if anybody had lead in QB battle.
  • Impressed with Blake Sims at QB. Can throw better than expected.
  • Has “no problem” playing both guys until one separates himself from the other.
  • QBs need to continue to develop confidence, etc.
  • Walk-on DB Ranzell Watkins “good little hard worker” after tying team-high nine tackles in Saturday’s A-Day playing with second team.
  • QBs “will continue to be a competition.”
  • Likes attitude.

Derek Dooley, Tennessee

  • Don’t put too much into spring scrimmage numbers, he said.
  • QB Tyler Bray still “in infant stages” of career.
  • Honeymoon ended last September, Dooley said. There’s no slack given to coaches in the SEC.
  • Players making progress, but nobody is ready to play championship-level football just yet, he said.
  • Dead air since Franklin’s Q&A didn’t go full 10 minutes. Any thoughts out there in internet land?

James Franklin, Vanderbilt

  • “Daunting” is used to describe Vandy’s situation in SEC by the first questioner. Franklin liked it.
  • “I’m not a results oriented guy. I’m a process oriented guy.” Wow. Sound familiar?
  • Not much else of note.

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina

  • Garcia will graduate in May and is eligible to play anywhere in the country, Spurrier said. But he hopes he’s back with a better attitude.
  • “Maybe it’s time to address sharing the wealth,” Spurrier said of possibility of paying athletes. He doesn’t think that’ll happen, though.
  • “If Steven isn’t back,” Spurrier said, Conner Shaw is capable.
  • We’re back with Steve.
  • He like the freshman a lot.
  • QB Conner Shaw got a lot of good work in.
  • “We’ll see how the quarterback situation works out,” is first reference to potential issue after Garcia was suspended.
  • It’s Spurrier’s birthday and he’s about to tee off at Harbor Town in Hilton Head with Boo Weekley.
  • Holding for the ball coach. Wonder if he’ll get a Stephen Garcia question?
  • Skipping ahead to another coach.

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