PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Overbearing Donors


#1

There are overbearing parents of players, and now overbearing donors to programs…

UConn donor unhappy with AD

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A major benefactor to the University of Connecticut wants the school to return $3 million in donations and remove his family name from its football complex [b]because he says he was shut out of discussions about the selection of a new football coach[/b].

Robert 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.

“We want our money and respect back,” Burton wrote to Hathaway.

Burton, who played college football at Murray State, said although he was not seeking veto power in the hiring, he “earned my voice on this subject” as the program’s top donor. He said he has hired lawyers to enforce his demand to get his donations back.

The Day newspaper of New London first reported news of the letter Tuesday and the response from UConn, which has not said whether it will return the donations or remove the name from the Burton Family Football Complex.

“The primary reason [former UConn coach] Randy [Edsall] took another job is because he couldn’t work with you,” Burton wrote to Hathaway, according to The Day. “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.”

In a written statement on behalf of UConn and Hathaway, the athletic department said that Burton was among many interested people who offered input, and that Hathaway “did receive and acknowledge” Burton’s advice before Pasqualoni was hired.

“In the end, the decision was appropriately made by the university in the best interests of UConn and our football program,” the statement said.


#2

[quote=“Skeeza, post:1, topic:1838”]There are overbearing parents of players, and now overbearing donors to programs…

UConn donor unhappy with AD[/quote]

Wow! Helicopter parents and now Helicopter donors! :o


#3

If $3 million gets you the right to help hire the football coach, I wonder what $88 million gets you.


#4

This happens all the time. It just doesn’t get made public.

You have to be a Joe or a Bob Knight to really be able to stare them down with impunity. Joe used to say he wanted donors’ money, “not their two cents.”


#5

Umm, the right to talk to our football coach?


#6

I think it depends on the circumstance.

For football, $3M represents a small percentage of the program’s revenue. For Hockey, $88M represents THE PROGRAM.

The UCONN donor needs to get over it. You want ‘say’? …take your few million and go buy a minor league football team.

The Pegulas essentially paid for the arena and are funding the scholarships, but even they should not get say unless it was agreed upon when they made the contribution. If they were going to give $88M and say,“I want to name the coach”, I say he should be able to. Hell, he should be allowed to coach the team himself …if it was agreed to when the money was donated.


#7
If $3 million gets you the right to help hire the football coach, I wonder what $88 million gets you.

I think it depends on the circumstance.

For football, $3M represents a small percentage of the program’s revenue. For Hockey, $88M represents THE PROGRAM.

The UCONN donor needs to get over it. You want ‘say’? …take your few million and go buy a minor league football team.

The Pegulas essentially paid for the arena and are funding the scholarships, but even they should not get say unless it was agreed upon when they made the contribution. If they were going to give $88M and say,“I want to name the coach”, I say he should be able to. Hell, he should be allowed to coach the team himself …if it was agreed to when the money was donated.

Goodness! So basically, the operations of an institution of higher learning are up for bid?

I remember when my high school was considering an ROTC program, most people who were against it opposed it because war was bad, killing is wrong and all that lefty crap. My father opposed it because the ROTC program operated without the approval of local school officials, who he believed should be responsible for the curriculum. (This was a dying steel town, so you can guess who won this battle :slight_smile: )

Anyway, I thought the most sensible thing on this was said by Kornheiser last night. “Three million dollars wouldn’t even get you a parking place at Nebraska or Alabama.”

:slight_smile:


#8

Yes, this guy does seem crazy, but there have been cases of University abuse of donor conditions…

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36001561/ns/us_news-giving/

And this made me nauseous. This museum is yet to be built.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/museum_bigs_cash_in_KF1koFDHNn0XyKakSzYPzN#ixzz1C9lhBl6C

Especially in light of this…

Donors ranged from Ohio high-school students who raised $14,000 by completing a 650-mile trek from their Toledo suburb to Ground Zero, to pupils at Bethpage HS in New Jersey who collected $746 in pennies.

A little more color, with a flow chart, of the Princeton issue. This case got the attention of colleges. Never heard of this “muckety” site, but interesting mandate, “Mapping the paths of power and influence.”

http://news.muckety.com/2007/10/28/princeton-donors-family-battle-over-880-million/150


#9

[quote=“kidcoyote, post:8, topic:1838”]Yes, this guy does seem crazy, but there have been cases of University abuse of donor conditions…

[[/quote]

Sort of like Penn State collecting donations for an Athletics Hall of Fame by selling bricks to the entrance of the new building to be built across the street from the BJC. Then deciding to use the money collected for the Beaver Stadium renovation which included the Hall of Fame as part of it. Unfortunately, they then sold bricks entering the “new” Hall of Fame to honor Paterno and relegated to original brick donators to little plastic name plates on a wall inside the Hall of Fame. Success with Honor… ::slight_smile:


#10
There are overbearing parents of players, and now overbearing donors to programs....

UConn donor unhappy with AD

Wow! Helicopter parents and now Helicopter donors! :o

Helicopter donors fixed PSU wrestling…


#11

Here is the letter, for those interested.

http://deadspin.com/5743170/heres-the-angry-letter-that-uconn-donor-wrote-demanding-his-money-back


#12
[quote="mjg, post:3, topic:1838"]If $3 million gets you the right to help hire the football coach, I wonder what $88 million gets you.[/quote]

I think it depends on the circumstance.

For football, $3M represents a small percentage of the program’s revenue. For Hockey, $88M represents THE PROGRAM.

The UCONN donor needs to get over it. You want ‘say’? …take your few million and go buy a minor league football team.

The Pegulas essentially paid for the arena and are funding the scholarships, but even they should not get say unless it was agreed upon when they made the contribution. If they were going to give $88M and say,“I want to name the coach”, I say he should be able to. Hell, he should be allowed to coach the team himself …if it was agreed to when the money was donated.

Goodness! So basically, the operations of an institution of higher learning are up for bid?

I remember when my high school was considering an ROTC program, most people who were against it opposed it because war was bad, killing is wrong and all that lefty crap. My father opposed it because the ROTC program operated without the approval of local school officials, who he believed should be responsible for the curriculum. (This was a dying steel town, so you can guess who won this battle :slight_smile: )

Anyway, I thought the most sensible thing on this was said by Kornheiser last night. “Three million dollars wouldn’t even get you a parking place at Nebraska or Alabama.”

:slight_smile:

Absolutely. I don’t think there is a person on this forum that would want to open that can of worms.


#13
[quote="mjg, post:3, topic:1838"]If $3 million gets you the right to help hire the football coach, I wonder what $88 million gets you.[/quote]

I think it depends on the circumstance.

For football, $3M represents a small percentage of the program’s revenue. For Hockey, $88M represents THE PROGRAM.

The UCONN donor needs to get over it. You want ‘say’? …take your few million and go buy a minor league football team.

The Pegulas essentially paid for the arena and are funding the scholarships, but even they should not get say unless it was agreed upon when they made the contribution. If they were going to give $88M and say,“I want to name the coach”, I say he should be able to. Hell, he should be allowed to coach the team himself …if it was agreed to when the money was donated.

Goodness! So basically, the operations of an institution of higher learning are up for bid?

I remember when my high school was considering an ROTC program, most people who were against it opposed it because war was bad, killing is wrong and all that lefty crap. My father opposed it because the ROTC program operated without the approval of local school officials, who he believed should be responsible for the curriculum. (This was a dying steel town, so you can guess who won this battle :slight_smile: )

Anyway, I thought the most sensible thing on this was said by Kornheiser last night. “Three million dollars wouldn’t even get you a parking place at Nebraska or Alabama.”

:slight_smile:

My question was directed toward the UCONN donor – wonder what he’d expect for $88 million. I’m sure PSU will be giving more courtesies to the Pegulas than just naming the arena after them. But I doubt they were promised what this clown expects. I think the IRS should audit this guy’s past donations to see if he received any “benefits” from them. If he gets to name the coach, I think part of his donation would no longer be tax deductible.


#14

[quote=“NICU, post:11, topic:1838”]Here is the letter, for those interested.

http://deadspin.com/5743170/heres-the-angry-letter-that-uconn-donor-wrote-demanding-his-money-back[/quote]

Calling for the AD’s head in a letter expressing your displeasure doesn’t exactly paint a good picture for yourself.


#15
Here is the letter, for those interested.

http://deadspin.com/5743170/heres-the-angry-letter-that-uconn-donor-wrote-demanding-his-money-back

Calling for the AD’s head in a letter expressing your displeasure doesn’t exactly paint a good picture for yourself.

I like the PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL planted right at the top of the letter followed at the bottom with a dozen cc’s. So much for keeping it personal. ;D


#16

Maybe I’m the only one to miss the follow-up, but I love Geno’s response (particularly to the idea Geno has problems with the AD):

Auriemma emailed the Hartford Courant to say “His statement that Jeff has a poor working relationship with the basketball coaches really angers me — he has no clue what my working or personal relationship is with Jeff, nor is it any of his business.” And “I’m just thankful he doesn’t like basketball.”

As fun as that response is, I’d also say it is a non-denial denial.

Follow-up


#17

Robert Burton ends dispute with UConn

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6114002