A signature supporter of the Connecticut football program is demanding the return of $3 million and the removal of his name from the team's training facility, the Day of New London (Conn.) reports.
Robert G. Burton, who donated the lead gift for construction of the Burton Family Football Complex, said he is upset with athletic director Jeff Hathaway's leadership and that Burton wasn't consulted in the recent coaching search. UConn hired Paul Pasqualoni after Randy Edsall left for Maryland.
"The primary reason [former coach] Randy [Edsall] took another job is because he couldn't work with you," Burton wrote in a letter to Hathaway dated Jan. 19, the paper reports. "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."
He also wrote that the Huskies could take his name off the building after it cut him his refund check.
Burton, who had a son play for Pasqualoni at Syracuse, said he did not support the hiring of Pasqualoni and was never consulted by Hathaway during the process. He was involved in the process that led to Edsall's hiring under former AD Lew Perkins.
UConn officials released a statement to the paper that said the school did consult with Burton and that it made a hire in the best interests of the university.
Does this sound a little bit like a rich guy getting mad because he didn't have his ego stroked? A little, sure. But The Day reports that Burton has given more than $7 million to the football program over the years, and he might be the program's biggest financial supporter. UConn can't afford to lose that as it tries to continue its rise. Hathaway and the school need to find a way to patch things up with Burton.