A wealthy donor who has given more than $7 million dollars to the University of Connecticut football program asked for $3 million of that money back and has promised never to donate to the school again — at least as long as Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway is in charge.Robert G. Burton, the chairman and CEO of Greenwich-based Burton Capital Management, fired off an angry letter to Hathaway (that was obtained by the New London Day) expressing his displeasure at Hathaway’s choice of Paul Pasqualoni as the new head football coach.
Burton felt he was not adequately consulted by Hathaway during the coaching search and worse, he asserted that Hathaway drove away previous coach Randy Edsall, because he was difficult to work for.
One of Burton’s sons played football at Connecticut under Edsall and another played for Pasqualoni at Syracuse. Burton says he did not support the hiring of Pasqualoni.
Burton claims he asked to be kept “in the loop” during the Huskies coaching search, but did not hear from Hathaway until after the hire had been made. Burton said he doesn’t want veto power, but the AD clearly does “not respect my point of view or value my opinion”
Clearly, Burton wanted some say in the way the program is run and is a little peeved that proper reverence was not paid. Now he’s teaching Hathaway a very tough lesson about keeping donors happy.
In addition to requesting the return of his $3 million in gifts, Burton has canceled his $50,000-a-year luxury suite, will no longer send his management trainees to UConn’s business school, and asked that his family’s name be taken off the football complex that his money helped to build.
In the letter, Burton blasts Hathaway saying, “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.”
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