Blog Entry

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

Posted on: January 28, 2011 12:55 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this week on the blog, we introduced you to Robert Burton. Burton was a UConn booster who donated quite a large sum of money to the school and was just a tad bit annoyed by the fact he wasn't consulted when it came to finding a replacement for Randy Edsall. So, in return, Burton demanded his money back from the school, and said he wants his name removed from a complex he financed. Burton's taken a bit of heat for this from columnists all over the country writing about how donors and boosters have too much influence in college athletics these days.

Burton does have one very powerful ally, however. T. Boone Pickens, the man behind the curtain at Oklahoma State, can empathize with Burton and feels that UConn should have done a better job of appeasing him.

"You always have time for people who are putting up the money. That just makes all the sense in the world," T. Boone Pickens told USA Today. "You can't ignore those people. I mean, they've paid their money, and they're entitled to be informed.

"Your donors are as important to you as some of your players are. So you don't want to offend anybody.

"You can't spend all day every day talking to somebody about things. But I would just say, from a distance, that somebody should have talked to the guy and he never should have gotten to the spot where now he's damned unhappy and he wants his money back."

Pickens is right, too. While I don't condone Burton's petulant act of demanding all of his money back - I would have just let the school know that my checkbook is closed in the future - I can totally understand why he's angry. If I was capable of donating that much money to a school, I'd like to think my opinion was valued somewhat. I mean, you wouldn't have to agree with every idea I had, but at least listen to some of them.

I just gave you $3 million, the least you can do is act like I exist.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2011 2:14 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

imakansan, there would be no doubt who is charge, as soon as the President of either University fired you for being so stupid... Especially in OSU's case, where the booster donated about $500 Million... They would fire you before you could blink your eyes

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2011 12:25 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

They should have been "heard" what he had to say, but not necessarily "listened" to it.

Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2011 10:50 am

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

Donating money does not mean that you have the right to make decisions about who coaches the teams at that university.  However, it makes sense that the Athletic Director at that institution will keep you informed as to what is going on in the Athletic Department.  It is not required, it just makes good business sense and it is common sense, that school officials, especially the Athletic Director, will keep a prominent booster in the loop when any major decision is being made concerning the direction of the athletic program.  Notice that I did not say that the Athletic Director should have conferred with the booster, but he should have given the booster updates on the direction that the hiring process was taking.  College athletics are multi-million dollar businesses and without the funds from major boosters many athletic programs would not be able to provide the programs that they do.  Just stroke him a little and make him feel important.

Since: Jul 16, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:10 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

Really?  Thats a pretty broad brush your painting with, don't you think?  I hope I am never at a point in my life where I am so full of hate and envy.

Since: Jul 16, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:06 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

I can see by the answers on this thread that Obama's strategy to divide the country by using class warfare is working like a charm.  Its a very sad statement on this country when we would rather tear down successful people than aspire to rise to their level. 

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2011 3:31 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

So anyone with a wad of cash can be an AD now?  Shut up and write the check.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2011 1:20 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

Too bad I'm not the AD at OSU or UConn. If I were, I would stare these men down and say to them, "I am in charge of this athletic department. I do not need your permission to do things. I am not going to be your puppet. There will be no doubt about who is in charge around here."

There is no doubt you would be fired. Boosters fire AD's and coaches all the time.

Since: Mar 28, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2011 9:31 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

These rich jerks just want to throw their weight around. He is not the AD, he is a "booster" and does not have to be called and ask who he wants to hire. Just another power hungry egomaniac. I would give him his money back and take his name off everything.  I don't think he would want the AD making decisions in his business. It is the AD's job to make the choice and the hire. It is an insult to him. What is every decision supposed to go through supporters. Maybe he should ask to be hired as the AD. I would boost him out of the program.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: January 29, 2011 8:56 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

Dude, it is not about who is charge, it is about doing your job.  One part of your job as an AD is to stroke the boosters.  This guy doesn't want to make decisions, he justs wants a don't give a guy like this some time to be heard, you are not doing your job, and in the long run you doing a disservice to the University.....hey if I gave my alma mater $3 million I'd like to be heard too.

Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2011 8:28 pm

T. Boone Pickens supports angry UConn booster

Phil Knight has done much for Oregon, but T-Boone's philanthropy is nothing to sneeze at. Pickens has donated nearly a half billion dollars to Oklahoma State University in his life.  I'd say he's doing all right... and his generosity can be felt all over campus...


Burton has a way to go before he receives the deferential treatment Pickens & Knight receive at their respective schools.

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