Robert G. Burton, UConn Football’s Top Donor, Wants $3 Million Back

The UConn football program could be in serious trouble.  Former head coach Randy Edsall left the team after its Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma to accept the same position at Maryland, but all of a sudden that may not be the team’s most pressing issue.  UConn’s top football booster, Robert G. Burton, is planning to cut ties with the team after athletic director Jeff Hathaway failed to fulfill his request of remaining involved in the process of hiring a new head coach.

UConn recently hired former NFL defensive coordinator and Syracuse head football coach Paul Pasqualoni, a move that Burton does not support and says he was not consulted on in any way.  It was the Burton family’s “lead gift” of $2.5 million that allowed UConn to open one of the best football facilities in the country back in 2006.

After the hire was made, Burton wrote an extremely angry letter to Hathaway and the university in which he vowed to take back roughly $3 million of the money he has donated to the football program.  Here are some of the important pieces in the letter as shared with us by The Day.

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.”

“I was not looking for veto power,” Burton wrote. “Your lack of response on either of these requests tells me that you do not respect my point of view or value my opinion.”

“After we get our money back, you can take our name off the complex,” wrote Burton, who also has a luxury box at Rentschler Field and who donated more than $1 million to endow two scholarships at the school.

In the letter, Burton highlighted eight actions that are to be taken immediately including all remaining scholarship dollars to be transferred to the business school, a cancellation of the family’s $20,000 per year donation which is used to run a summer football clinic, and a cancellation of the $8,000 advertisement space the family purchases annually for the inside cover of the game day program.

In summary, the UConn football program is in a tremendous amount of hot water if Burton follows through with his demands — and there’s no reason to believe he won’t.  If you think hiring staff is a task that should be left to the “football people,” you’re 100 percent right.  Unfortunately, money talks.  For the sake of the program’s future, it would have been wise of Hathaway to at least dangle a carrot in front of Burton instead of keeping him in the dark.

Around The Web

  • Anonymous

    That’s bold. You know what else is bold, but in a good way? http://www.mexarab.com

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JOWVAEYAV77DOUC53XOTKZOYDA Bangsmoke

    If you take the guy’s money or not, you tell him that football decisions will be made by university staff.
    It’s up to the university if they want to let him know what they’re thinking.
    Doesn’t the NCAA have something to say about this, or are they too busy at the moment?

  • Anonymous

    don’t know if he can legally get it back, but sure can stop any future gifts.

  • Anonymous

    Like a 10 year old boy who is spoiled (but not raped by Sandusky) and takes his toy back when he can’t make the rules, this spoiled jerk does the same with a DONATION…

  • http://twitter.com/Understandinu4u Start Saving Now

    Donations not only benefit the school programs, but it also help our youth towards a possible promising future. What happened between the hiring decisions between UCon and Burton should have NO effect on the students football program or football team.

    Burton, please remember that donations are for a great cause…NOT…to make a power-struggle point!

  • Anonymous

    I sincerely hope this egomaniac can’t get a dime back.The NCAA should be interested in this situation and the IRS as well if he gets his money back.  Don’t you think he found a way to deduct most of it on  his taxes ?  It’s clear that he donated to the football program  so that he could wield an inappropriate amount of power.  Big donors will always have imput but this jerk clearly wants to have AD level power. All UConn fans should step up to donate/ increase their donations to show this turkey that true fans can keep the team going. I wonder what plans this gazillionaire has for the business school?  Installing Herman Cain as the Dean?

  • Anonymous

    This was not a donation, this was a purchase. He was buying influence and  power in the program. . He is simply unhappy with his purchase, it happens all the time, it is called buyers remorse. The IRS should audit him and if he took a tax credit for a donation then they should charge him with filing a fraudulent return. His own actions prove that it was not intended to be a “donation”

  • Anonymous

    As a Maryland fan, I wish we could give him Edsall back!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2TIVP7RRFHRT374S3BZRGFYRWM Colonel

    I’m sure Mr. Herman Cain would be Honored to serve as the “UCONN School of Business Dean” and I’ll be happy to pass along your offer to him RufoussidedTowhee. However, it would be next to impossible for Mr. Cain to serve as “The Dean” while he also serves as the President of the United States therefore, on Mr. Cain’s behalf I’ll politely reject the “Dean Offer.”  But then again, many years ago George Washington did in fact serve as our President at the same time he was serving as the Master of his Masonic Lodge. And that’s a full-time job within itself.

  • Roderick Bennett

    Ihate to be the voice of reason but Burton didn’t say he was taking the donation but transfering it to the business school and he claims he didn’t want veto power but to be consulted for that kind of money seems reasonable to me 

  • Anonymous

    Give the jerk his “donation” back, but leave hs name on the facility.  Just simply modify building name to “The building that the Burton family reneged on”.   What an egotistical moron.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Mr.burton,

    I will be more than glad to give you your money back. I have over $13 million on my Zygna account  that I play with on Facebook, if you would like the “Fake” money back because that what your are “A Big Fake”!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Mitchell/1604754630 Mike Mitchell

    This action brought to you by the 1%. 

  • Anonymous

    That’s like telling the Salvation Army who can be the bell ringers after I donate $10