The Day – Robert G. Burton wants UConn to give him his $3 million back. Burton gave the money to the University of Connecticut to build the Burton Family Football Complex in Storrs. Now, citing disagreements with the school’s athletic director and a desire to be consulted about the new football coach, he wants that donation returned and his family’s name taken off the facility altogether. A printing industry executive who has lived in Greenwich for the last 30 years, Burton is the chairman, chief executive officer and managing member of Greenwich-based Burton Capital Management, LLC. He has given more than $7 million to the football program, including a “lead gift” of $2.5 million for construction of the football complex.
Burton cited philosophical disagreements with Hathaway and his management style as reasons for his decision to end his involvement with UConn.
“The primary reason (former coach) Randy (Edsall) took another job is because he couldn’t work with you,” Burton wrote in the 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 called Hathaway on Jan. 3 and asked to be “kept in the loop” with the hiring process for the next football coach. It was “the same process that (former Athletic Director) Lew Perkins had with me when Randy was hired.” Burton also wanted to “provide insight” about coaching candidates who he felt “would be a good fit.”
Burton advised Hathaway that he and his family will “implement eight actions” effective immediately. Among the actions:
• The family will not pay for its $50,000-per-year luxury suite at Rentschler Field. “You already have many other empty boxes at Rentschler. My box will just join the list,” Burton wrote.
• The family will not purchase an $8,000 advertisement on the inside cover of the football program.
• All remaining scholarship dollars, including “the current balance” earmarked for football, will be transferred to the business school.
• The family will stop its $20,000 annual donation for a summer coaching clinic and plans to make no future donations to UConn.
• The family, which used the UConn business school to help “train our first line managers” for its business, will use the Syracuse business school instead.
Attempts to reach Burton were unsuccessful.
Copies of the letter were sent to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, incoming president Susan Herbst and Lawrence D. McHugh, the chairman of the UConn Board of Trustees.
I’d love to sit here and be like fuck this guy. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on. But as much as I despise this cocksucker I kind of get what he’s saying. Like he wasn’t donating his money to be nice and philanthropic. He wants to have control He wants to play Assistant AD from his Ivory tower in Greenwhich. Sure it would be great if Uconn could take all his money and not have to deal with him, but that’s not how it works. If you take his blood money that means you got to pretend like you care about what this asshole says. It’s the same with any business that accepts private capital. It’s like signing a deal with the devil. That’s the job of a good AD. To massage these egomaniac’s feelings. To get donations from Boosters, make them feel important and still do what’s best for the program. So the mere fact that this thing hit the newspapers just means to me that Uconn has an AD who can’t handle the demands of a big time
Here we go ......
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