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Thursday, January 27, 2011

UConn booster thinks he's owner not donor

As if college football didn't have enough problems with the likes of Cam Newton's dad wanting their kids to get paid, apparently some big time boosters believe their open wallets believe entitle them to act as defacto ADs in the hiring and firing of coaches.

Case in point: A major UConn benefactor wants the $3 million he donated to the school returned and his family's name removed from the school's football complex because - wait for it - they shut him out of the discussions regarding the selection of the new football coach.

See that football you're holding?  Should've bought
one of those teams if you wanted a say about coaches
No, seriously.

According to the USA TODAY article linked above, "Robert Steinbrenner Burton, chief executive officer of Greenwich, Conn.-based Burton Capital Management, said in a Jan. 19 letter to UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway that his opinions were ignored and he did not support the way Paul Pasqualoni was selected as coach."


Burton called the situation "a slap in the face and embarrassment to my family," and said he planned "to let the correct people know that you did not listen to your number one football donor." He called the search process flawed.

Actually, the embarrassment is Mr. Burton's behavior.  Get over yourself, jackhole.  As reader "Small Axe" said in the comment section of USA TODAY, "It's not an investment. He's not buying shares of stock. He's not a partial owner of a franchise. It's a donation to a state school. How egotistical, arrogant, entitled, and disgusting."

In a statement, the school said "In the end, the decision was appropriately made by the university in the best interests of UConn and our football program,"

Exactly.  Although it apparently came as a shock to Mr. Burton that the decision wasn't made in his best interests.  Because there's more in the USA TODAY article:

Burton, a printing industry executive, and his family have given more than $7 million in donations for scholarships and other programs, including $2.5 million in 2002 to kick off construction of the football complex.

That's over, according to Burton's letter. And, he blames the athletic director, saying he is "fed up" with Hathaway and would have fired him long ago, if he'd had the authority.

Burton says his family and friends will no longer donate for scholarships and coaching clinics, will pull their advertising from the football program and will transfer current scholarships away from football and into the business school.

It couldn't immediately be determined Tuesday how many football players that would affect and whether other scholarship money would be available.

Burton said his company will also start sending its managers to Syracuse University's business school for training instead of UConn, and will no longer 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.

Sounds like a heck of a guy.

Naturally, Mr. I Have Money So That Means I'm More Important Than Everybody Else is suing UConn to get his ownership stake "donation" returned and the family name off the building.

I hope UConn does take his name off the building, but keeps the money.

(HT: USA Today commenter Lakin for title idea)


phil said...

As a wealthy donor myself, I totally support Robert Burton in his justifiable anger. As Dean Martin said in the movie -Back to School- "it was a really, really big check".

carl tabb said...

Sounds like a lot of UM's alumni and donors during the RR era.

wingedhelmet said...

Hmmm - perhaps Mr. Burton is confused over the concept of "gift". Any female Burton "gift recipients" would be well advised to play ball with the vengeful one-time college football player and advisor to AD's all over the land.

whetstonebuck said...

Gotta love that elitist attitude.


Bigasshammm said...

When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, hires the head football coach you didn't want, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Bob Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Bob?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."

srudoff said...


he coulda bought cam newton for $190K, saved himself a ton of money, and probably wouldn't have needed to replace the last coach with Newton at QB

Mikoyan said...

Since donations like this are tax write offs, maybe the Federal Government should have a say as well?

GoBlueBob said...

•A gift or a present is the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation of reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free.

J said...

This guy best be glad he does not support a team in a real conference. Hell, $7M doesn't even get you a tour of the locker room at an SEC, Big XII or Big Ten School. That's chump change.

I wonder if he also realizes he could possibly get UConn in trouble for insinuating that he expected to get some kind of control over the athletic department in exchange for his "donation".

What a jackwagon.

surrounded in columbus said...

tsk tsk. personally, i like elitism. seat licenses? Victor's Club? club seats? who doesn't love that?

Burton's problem is that he's cheap. he gave what? $3 or $4 million? that gets you good seats & the AD remembers your name. if you wanna pick the coach? you gotta put up T Boone Pickens/Nike level cash.

if Burton had ponied up another 8 figures, they might have listened to him.

Yost said...

True, SiC, but it is UConn. Pretty sure a $3M donation will get your name on a bus bench near North Campus or might get your season tickets upgraded close to the 20.

Bigasshammm said...

That was THE worst blocking foul I have ever seen called in a basketball game.

srudoff said...

BAH bringing the hyperbole!

Dierdorf said...

I want the $10,000 my ex-wife got and my name removed from the restraining order Damn It!!!

Ramona said...

Never happy to run across more proof of the Modern Day Golden Rule....

he who has the gold, rules...