One day after organizers revealed that they hoped to have the University of Alabama fan who went to jail for poisoning Auburn’s oak trees at Toomer’s Corner help raise money in a charity event, the plans were scrubbed following numerous threats.
Dee Dee Bonner, the mother of former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, told ESPN.com that his part of the Sept. 29 event had been scrapped after she and McCarron’s wife Katherine both received death threats and other ugly comments through social media.
“It seems to be taking away from the primary purpose, which is raising awareness for children’s cancer,” Bonner told the website. “We don’t want to take away from the focus. We needed to get away from it.”
Harvey Updyke, who has already completed his jail time as part of a plea agreement, had agreed to be in a dunk tank and allow people to throw pies at his face during an event to honor John Oliver, a boy from the Mobile area who died from cancer in July.
The fundraiser will benefit Roses From Linda, a nonprofit organization that assists family members in visiting terminally ill people, and children’s cancer research.
After poisoning the trees in 2010, Updyke ended up serving 76 days in jail after pleading to one count of unlawful damage of an animal or crop facility. He was sentenced to six months of jail time, but was credited for 104 days of time already served, and five years probation.
Part of his agreement is that he won’t do interviews.
On Sunday, Auburn unveiled numerous upgrades to the corner where Tigers fans throw toilet paper while celebrating major events and championships.
New trees won’t be planted until the start of next year.