Auburn, Alabama coaches issue joint statement

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Coaches for both the University of Alabama and Auburn University are issuing a joint statement regarding the poisoning of Auburn's famous Toomer's Corner oak trees.

AU's Coach Gene Chizik and UA's Coach Nick Saban -

"This is an isolated incident by one individual that is not representative of what the greatest rivalry in college football is all about. The players and coaches at both schools have a tremendous amount of respect for each other on and off the field, and we encourage our fans to show that same amount of respect now and in the future. We will move beyond this regrettable incident and continue to enjoy this great rivalry."

The SGA president of both universities also came together to issue statements.

Kurt Sasser, SGA President of Auburn and James Fowler, SGA President of Alabama

"We are disappointed with the vandalism that has occurred to the famous oak trees at Toomer's Corner on the campus of Auburn University. We share this disappointment with the Auburn and Alabama alumni, students, and fans who recognize this as an insult to the longstanding and unparalleled rivalry between our two exceptional schools.

Now more than ever is a time to reflect on what this rivalry means to all the people associated with these two universities. As collegiate students from both Auburn and Alabama prepare to take leadership roles across the state and nation, we collectively welcome our responsibility in shaping the future of our alma maters. We must ensure that the values our universities have imbued in us – values of respect, fairness, empathy, and honesty – live on for future generations.

Part of that responsibility is to make certain that the greatest rivalry in college sports goes forward in an atmosphere of honor and mutual respect.

Today, we encourage all students to act in a manner that represents the mission and values of our institutions. By committing ourselves to those values, we may look forward to a future that is marked by commonalities: the preservation of traditions, the pursuit of excellence, and the constant betterment of both Auburn University and The University of Alabama."

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