Robert Burton, UConn Booster, Wants Money Back After Coaching Hire
The University of Connecticut booster feels he was slighted by UConn AD Jeff Hathaway (pictured) with regard to the recent search for a college football coach. Burton had given the university $3 million dollars for a facility bearing his name and he has stated in a letter to the school that he would like the money returned and his name removed from the complex.
The Day obtained a copy of the letter, which outlined Burton's desire to be included in the coaching search. In addition, Burton questioned Hathaway's relationship with outgoing coach Randy Edsall.
"The primary reason Randy took another job is because he couldn't work with you," Burton wrote. "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."
Burton claims that he contacted Hathaway in January to request that he be kept informed of the process. According to Burton, Hathaway didn't respond until Jan. 13, when the coaching search had already concluded with the hiring of former Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni.
The letter indicates a list of actions that Burton and his family will act upon immediately, including giving up their $50,000 a year luxury box, transferring all funds intended for the football program to the business school and ending future donations to the school, among other things.
UConn's athletic department released a statement Monday disputing Burton's claims. It said, in part, that Hathaway accepted Burton's advice in the search and kept the family abreast of the decision-making process.