Auburn says goodbye to Toomer's oaks

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 20, 2013
Auburn fans said goodbye to the two oak trees at Toomer's Corner with one more toilet paper celebration following the spring game on Saturday. An A-day-record crowd of 83,401 watched the Orange team defeat the Blue squad 35-14 at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Gus Malzahn's first spring game since he was hired to coach the Tigers. Thousands of fans then made their way over to drape toilet paper over the two frail, poison-infested oaks in a tribute that was more celebratory than somber. ''There's more to Auburn than two oak trees, revered and sturdy as they are,'' retired athletic director David Housel said. ''These oak trees are but an outward visible symbol of the Auburn heart. ... This is a day of celebration and remembrance.'' The spring game included 164 all-purpose yards and a touchdown by junior college transfer Cameron Artis-Payne, and Jonathan Mincy was ejected for a ''targeted hit above the shoulders'' on wide receiver Dimitri Reese. Longtime Alabama fan Harvey Updyke Jr. pleaded guilty on March 22 to poisoning the Toomer trees after the 2010 Iron Bowl, when Cam Newton led Auburn to the national title - and an Iron Bowl comeback from a 24-0 deficit. The trees will be cut down Tuesday, and officials unveiled a plan on Saturday to renovate Toomer's Corner that is expected to be completed next year. ''Something doesn't have to be old to be a tradition,'' said Bill Stone, the president of the Auburn Alumni Association. ''We'll be here and we're gonna roll and roll and roll this corner just as we always have and just as we always will.'' Toomer's Corner is the bustling connecting point of campus and community, where Toomer's Drugs serves up lemonade and lunch at the old-fashioned counter and the trees serve as a gateway. The celebratory rollings date back at least 40 years, starting with the now-underground wires that used to criss-cross the corner and switching to the trees some three decades ago, according to Housel. A system of wires crossing the street will replace the trees as a temporary solution for postgame celebrations in a tribute to the old days. Harrison Mills, the president of Auburn's student government association, said the Samford Park renovation will improve the openness, accessibility and accommodations for fans. There were plenty of celebrations at Toomer's Corner when Malzahn was the offensive coordinator at Auburn from 2009-11. He came back to the school after Gene Chizik was fired following a 3-9 season. Malzahn, who received a five-year contract worth $2.3 million annually, said Saturday he and his team are going to give fans a reason to once again shower the corner in toilet paper. ''Here's the plan in the fall: to give the Auburn family numerous opportunities to roll these trees,'' Malzahn said to a roar of applause.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vince Young attempting to trademark ‘Make Vince Great Again’

Report: Mavericks get Nerlens Noel in trade with 76ers

NASCAR announces four drivers will lend their voices to 'Cars 3'

Draymond Green video game highlights his groin-shot past

Paul George trade unlikely despite interest from Lakers and Celtics

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: David Ortiz could join Red Sox broadcast team this season

Report: Knicks, T-Wolves working on Rose-Rubio trade

Rick Pitino calls heckling UNC fan ‘coward,’ says it was not a student

Winston criticized for giving sexist speech to schoolchildren

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker