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ESPN changes A-Day coverage plans, won’t be coming for final Toomer’s Oaks rolling

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Not coming.

ESPN has changed its mind.

ESPN producer Jonatha Whyley, who earlier this month told TWER the World Wide Leader would have a film crew on hand for the Celebrate The Tradition block party following Auburn’s A-Day game, now tells us they will not be in Auburn Saturday, and will instead use footage from Birmingham’s ABC 33/40 to cover both the oaks’ final rolling and removal.

“Nothing really changed,” Whyley says. “Just other shoots come up, and the (NBA) playoffs.”

Whyley says ESPN still plans to show portions of Saturday’s event live, but isn’t sure whether it will be broadcast on ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, or ESPNews.

Auburn spokesman Mike Clardy says he was notified of the decision last week. When asked if he felt ESPN’s change of heart was possibly related to a potential protest of the network’s presence in light of ESPN The Magazine’s recent non-story on Auburn’s “spice epidemic,” Clardy replied “As far as I know it doesn’t. We were told Tom Rinaldi had something else to cover that day.”

Whyley says Rinaldi will still write that Sunday essay for us.

Related: Toomer’s Oaks-themed poetry reading held at Toomer’s Corner

More on the the Toomer’s Oaks: Toomer’s Corner rollings didn’t start with Punt, Bama, Punt, says History / Did Auburn students celebrate Bear Bryant’s death by rolling Toomer’s Corner?

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* Selena Roberts, Auburn student journalist
* Apple CEO Tim Cook huge Auburn fan even in high school
* Shug Jordan’s houndstooth hat is prized possession of former Auburn coed who caught it after ’69 Iron Bowl, claims it predates Bear’s
* That time David Housel punked the SEC with fake recruits

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