Well a wasps’ nest just got poked!
Greenwich rich guy Robert Burton is a big-time donor to UConn, especially the UConn football team. The hiring of new Husky football coach Paul Pasqualoni seems to have ticked, Burton feels as if he wasn’t consulted enough in the process, and didn’t have adequate input on the decision so now he wants a $3 million dollar donation returned.
In a scathing letter sent to UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway, released by the university, Burton said he wants his namesake taken off the on-campus UConn football facility, he won’t be getting a luxury box for the upcoming season, and a whole host of other threats to not give money to the state’s flagship university.
Quite simply, this Burton character is a jerk. Why should he have any input on the decision whatsoever? If he wants to be the AD at UConn so bad, put in an application. According to reports, Burton wanted to be “kept in the loop” as to who the next coach would be. As a big time donor, there’s nothing wrong with giving him a scoop as to where they’re leaning. But reports say his advice was taken into consideration by UConn, and that Burton wasn’t looking for “veto power” in the decision. So what’s the problem? His advice was taken, UConn went another way. Big deal.
This certainly isn’t the first time a donor made a lot of noise at a big time university. Phil Knight, of Nike fame and fortune, has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the University of Oregon (it’s even rumored that he gets to call one offensive play per game…which is insane). There’s a similar situation at Oklahoma State where T. Boone Pickens has donated many millions to the OK State Cowboys football program. Heck, the stadium is named after him. Those two have significant influence on those schools’ programs and their input on football decisions is valued highly. Apparently, Burton thinks he is in their league. He’s not.
The reality is that Burton’s preference for UConn football coach, former Florida offensive coordinator and now Temple head coach, Steve Addazio did not get to be the Huskies next coach. Why he would want Addazio is anybody’s guess. It’s not like Addazio was a popular guy in Florida, the locals were happy to get rid of him because of the way Florida’s offense floundered this year.
And how about giving Coach Pasqualoni a chance? You never know, he might actually be successful like he was at Syracuse. Since Pasqualoni is such a great recruiter, maybe he can try to recruit Burton to continue forking over much needed bucks to keep UConn football competitive.
While it’s unlikely he’ll be able to get his donation back (I’m sure the lawyers will have fun trying) Burton is unlikely to give any more money to UConn football. Thanks jerk-face. Move to New York already. CT has no need for a cry baby millionaire.