Tag:Phil Austin
Posted on: February 11, 2011 5:27 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 5:29 pm

UConn and angry booster are BFF again

Posted by Tom Fornelli

They say that time heals all wounds, but that's a lie when you get down to it. I've had this same scar on my elbow from the time I fell off my bike executing -- or trying to anyway -- a jump when I was ten years old. It's been 20 years, the scar is still there. Still, I suppose there are exceptions to every rule, and my elbow may just be one of them.

That doens't mean we shouldn't amend the idiom to say time heals some wounds. For instance, do you remember Robert Burton? He was the angry UConn booster who demanded a $3 million refund from the school after he wasn't consulted in the Paul Pasqualoni hire. Well, the two sides have hugged it out, and everybody is cool. UConn released a statement about it on Friday.
The University of Connecticut, longtime UConn donor Robert G. Burton, Sr. and his family have agreed to move past their differences and continue their longstanding relationship, according to UConn Board of Trustees Chairman Larry McHugh. McHugh previously said he intended to meet with the family, which he and board Vice Chair Tom Ritter did on Feb. 9.
Citing the Burton family’s past generosity and commitment to the University of Connecticut, McHugh stated: “The time spent with the Burtons confirmed my suspicion that they continue to possess a deep reservoir of love and respect for our University despite the frustration and disappointment they felt with the process used in hiring our new football head coach. The Burton family has been very generous to the university with their time, energy and resources. I felt that it was important to pay a visit to them and have a dialogue. I am very pleased that in a very short period of time he and his family were able to reconnect with UConn, recognizing all the good UConn does for its students and our state. The UConn community is grateful for all of the contributions the Burton family has made to enhance our academic and athletic programs and the support they have provided to so many UConn students.
Burton had this to say:
“I was very pleased that Larry and Tom reached out to my family and me. I think we had very good discussions. I also want to acknowledge Phil Austin, as well as incoming President Susan Herbst who also reached out to me and let her know that the Burton family looks forward to her successful tenure leading UConn. What I am sure they found was a family that is committed to UConn and wanted to reestablish the relationship that has been beneficial both to UConn and to the Burton family. Unfortunately, my unmet expectations and displeasure with the process used to select the football coach left my family and me upset. This expectation was based upon various times during the past 12 years where my family and I were consulted on a number of issues related to the football program as UConn moved from a 1AA school to a 1A BCS Bowl participant. But I have been reflecting on it and came to the conclusion that I’m not going to let one experience change the relationship my family and I have with UConn. We love the university, we’re proud of our association with it and it is going to continue.”
I don't know about you, but I'm wiping tears away from my eyes right now. I just love happy endings!
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