Is Harvey Updyke’s sentence too harsh? The answer is in your Sunday Cup of Coffee: 3/24/13

cup of coffee

What a difference a week makes. This time last week we couldn’t rest worrying about what would happen to the murderer of Auburn’s beloved Toomer’s Corner trees. Now, 7 days later, we know his fate. The two year long saga with Harvey Updyke is finally over over. Updyke was sentenced to six-months jail time, and 5-years of supervised probation which includes a 7:00pm curfew and prohibited entry into any collegiate athletic event.

But is this too harsh? The politically correct answer if you wear crimson is to say “No. Harvey Updyke committed an atrocity that will never fully be vindicated.” But I say bull crap.

The man who did what every Alabama fan wanted to do.

The man is guilty of poisoning trees. He didn’t kill anybody. He didn’t injure a person or even an animal. Harvey Updyke simply took the collegiate frenzy that so many have profited from in this state too far. Paul Finebaum didn’t become Paul Finebaum without this kind of fanatacism. Daniel Moore didn’t become a household name without it. Stores selling apparel for both schools didn’t lock themselves into ledgers that live in the black without it. Media outlets don’t have ratings that shoot through the roof without it.

So, the flipside of that success is a nutcase who took that same fanatacism, but took it to the other extreme. As they say, you can’t have it both ways. Feed the beast, and eventually you’re going to get a Harvey Updyke.

Updyke took from the Auburn Fambly one of their most prized traditions: Throwing butt paper in trees following an Auburn win, or a meaningful Alabama loss. And I for one am glad he did it.

Hurl the insults at me if you will, but you are lying if you’re an Alabama fan and you say you’re saddened by what he did. You may say so in public, or in earshot of your Auburn friends, but privately you’re elated. If you love Alabama you hate Auburn. It’s that simple. They are a classless bunch of never-have-beens who live for our demise. Historically the Auburn fanbase has demonstrated that there isn’t a classles antic so low that they won’t subscribe to it if it means taking a shot at the foundation and rich tradition of the University of Alabama.

The only thing funnier than Updyke killing their trees is hearing Auburn fans lamenting about it. Hearing how it brings them to tears that they won’t be able to share with their children this meaningful tradition. The tradition, mind you, of throwing toilet paper up in some trees.

Harvey Updyke did those future generations a favor. He forced dignity upon these future members of society. Maybe now they’ll focus on things that really matter. Like learning how to exist outside the competitive hatred for the big brother they’ll never catch.

Or, maybe, finally realizing that we’ve all taken this rivalry too far. He who is without sin in this area, cast the first stone. But chances are, if you’re an Auburn fan on an Alabama blog, you need to drop your rocks right about now.

Now, for a few more snippets of note to cover this week…

The Bill Battle hire seems to be a slam dunk. The expediency of the hire following Mal Moore’s resignation spoke to this being an arranged marriage. This didn’t just happen. Everyone in the know in Tuscaloosa apparently knew it was coming.

Bill Battle

Battle didn’t take the job because he needs the money. He will reportedly earn $620,000 a year as Bama’s head athletic czar. But the billionaire didn’t need the cash. The author of collegiate sports licensing likely has $620K in the ash trays of each car in his fleet of personal vehicles.

Bill Battle was hired to succeed Mal Moore, keep the fund raising going, and provide a smooth transition from one of Alabama’s most beloved figures stepping aside due to health reasons. He wasn’t hired to recreate the Crimson wheel. Unless someone on board pulls a Mike Price with a woman of “Destiny,” it isn’t likely the ax will swing in any department any time soon.

One thing is for sure; Alabama could have done much worse. It appears Battle will be exactly what the doctor ordered.

I’m one person who is doing an about face about the Tide Basketball program. Sure I’m disappointed that Alabama, again, failed to make the field of 68 in the NCAA Tournament. But the NIT has shone a light in an area that needed illumination.

The crowds at the past two NIT games haven’t been the largest this season, but they have by far been the best. It isn’t a secret that Alabama blue bloods snatch up season tickets to Tide sporting events to earn Tide Pride points. These points help boost their standing on the football ticket priority list.

Bama defeated the Stanford Cardinal 66-54 to advance to the 3rd round of the NIT Tournament.

But the result is, Coleman Colesium sounding like a morgue most of the time. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know tickets to the NIT games have been purchased by people who want to be there, and the immediate result is a more boistrous, involved crowd. That crowd played a large hand in Bama’s victory over Stanford Saturday morning/afternoon.

As Aaron Suttles and Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News tweeted following the game:

Cecil Hurt tweet

Change moves slow in Tuscaloosa, but for the good of our basketball program, here’s hoping it moves faster than normal. Expect more of the same this Tuesday night when Maryland comes to town. The winner of that game heads to New York for the NIT Final Four.

The Alabama baseball team picked up their second conference series win in a row with a 6-3 win over the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. Bama goes for the sweep today as their season continues to take a turn for the better.

(Follow ITK on Twitter for Bama news, commentary and smack.)