Blog Entry

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

Posted on: January 25, 2011 11:21 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Hell hath no fury like a booster scorned.

Robert Burton donated $3 million to UConn to fund The Burton Family Football Complex in Storrs. Burton is a printing industry executive who has lived in Greenwich for over 30 years, and has donated over $7 million to the football program in that time. Well, now he wants that $3 million for the football complex back, and he'd like his name taken off of it as well. It seems that Mr. Burton is pretty upset with UConn AD Jeff Hathaway not seeking his input when it came to hiring Paul Pasqualoni to replace Randy Edsall.

"The primary reason (former coach) Randy (Edsall) took another job is because he couldn't work with you," Burton wrote in a six-page letter to Hathaway. "You are not qualified to be a Division I AD and I would have fired you a long time ago. You do not have the skills to manage and cultivate new donors."

According to the letter, Burton asked Hathaway to keep him "in the loop" on the coaching search, asking him to do this on January 3. Burton says he never heard from Hathaway again until January 19 when Pasqualoni had already been hired. Burton also said in the letter that he wasn't looking for any kind of "veto power" but the fact that Burton wasn't consulted shows him that Hathaway doesn't respect his "point of view or value my opinion."

Which seems like a pretty big mistake on Hathaway's part, because according to the letter, the $3 million refund isn't the only thing Burton is going to do. He also said he won't be paying for his family's $50,000-a-year luxury suite at Rentschler Field. Burton even said "You already have many other empty boxes at Rentschler. My box will just join the list."

Burton didn't stop there, either. He no longer plans on purchasing an $8,000 ad inside the football program, he's moving all the money he donated for football scholarships to the business school, and Burton will stop an annual $20,000 donation for the school's summer coaching clinic. Oh, and speaking of the UConn business school, any time Burton's business needs to train any of its managers, it'll no longer be sending them to UConn's business school. It'll send them to Syracuse instead.


Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 12:42 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

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Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2011 2:04 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

Sure the guy is a rich weasel but he has a point. If you give big money to a program you expect a lot of ass kissing. Sounds like the uconn ad didn't kiss enough ass. That's his job to pucker up and kiss rich donor behind. You think Okie State would treat T. Boone like that?

Since: Jan 18, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2011 1:40 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

Am I the only who thinks this doesn't belong on a blog since it seems to be private business proceedings?  These things happen everyday, but they usually aren't on CBS Sports.

Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2011 1:28 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

Thats weird, the media would have you think that booster issues only arrise at successful programs.  Guess this proves that wrong.  Open up your eyes people, cheating with boosters happens everywhere.  Yes I know the article didn't specify any wrong doing.  Just ask SMU what happens when just 1 person becomes dissastfied or ask USC what happens when the wrong agent gets spurned.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2011 1:16 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

This Burton character sounds like your typical spoiled rich guy...We've all seen plenty of these guys...He thinks the world should bow to him and kiss his feet simply because he's rich. Screw him.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2011 12:47 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

And I want a refund on my taxes since the Afganistan war began.  I didn't, and don't, support such a colossal waste of men and money.  But unlike this loon, I know I will never see my money back.  Such is life.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2011 12:37 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

Seems the "sell your soul" for athletic superiority sydrome has migrated north. Taking that kind of money under the guise of accepting a no strings attached, tax deductible contribution was the school's first mistake. At that point, autonomy had been compromised. From an integrity standpoint, I'd like to see the university cut him a check and tell him adios, but there's probably not much chance the money is still around. At the very least, the donor should be forced to rescind the tax deduction, as it is clear that the donation was in no shape or form a gift. However, it's hard to imagine all parties were not aware of the expectations, soooo, you made your bed....

Since: May 4, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2011 12:33 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

You are joking right, AFC...?  UConn owes nothing to this guy.  It was his choice to make the monetary contributions.  If I were the UConn AD I would file a police report for harassment. 

Since: Mar 23, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2011 12:32 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

This donor behaves like a child.

Since: Nov 26, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2011 12:31 pm

Angry UConn booster wants a refund

Just becasue you donate money does not mean you make or have a hand in making decisions when it comes to the program.    Was this guy ever included in any other decision ????    Just because he is a printing exec, he knows football ??  Please.  it just looks like there is another underlying issue between him and the AD..... I bet as soon as the business school does something he does not like, he is going to pull his money and move it to the Agriculture or economic departments !!!!!    Another case of a rich man thinking he has power.   Hey rich boy, want to make decisions, make a career change and learn to become a AD, then you can have all the power that you want!  Pompous a$$!

Ps - I dont even like or care about UCONN athletics.. I just hate how rich people think because of money, they can influence something that has no business to them...... that is why they call it donating and not buying!

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