Stung by the recent departure of UConn football coach Randy Edsall, Huskie benefactor Robert G. Burton, CEO of Burton Capital Management has asked for the return of a $3 million donation to the program, along his name being removed from the school’s practice facility (above). The Hartford Courant’s Jeff Jacobs provides some highlights from Burton’s missive to Athletic Director Jeff Hathway, which was also forwarded to Connecticut Gov. Daniel P. Malloy and school officials ;
Burton wrote. “To be crystal clear, I was not looking for veto power over the next hire; I just wanted to be kept in the loop and add value and comments on any prospective candidates,” Burton wrote. “This is the same process that [former AD] Lew Perkins had with me when Randy Edsall was hired in December of 1998. You did not call me and ask for information on Paul Pasqualoni or talk to my son Joe, who started as an offensive lineman at Syracuse from 1997-2001. Instead you listened to others.”
“I am fed up with you as a manager because you did not let the hiring process take place in an open manner,” Burton writes. “You and your committee of three talked to some coaches and made a critical decision about who you were going to hire without input from knowledgeable people who care about the program.”
Burton goes on to say Pasqualoni, a Cheshire native, “only knows CT coaches and players.” The letter is also a scathing indictment of Hathaway, whom Burton writes is “not qualified to be a Division 1 AD.”
In the letter, Burton writes that he paid for Perkins’ air transportation to “find Randy Edsall” and that he once paid for his alma mater Murray State to play at UConn.
He also writes that he will take “eight actions” effective immediately, including the cancellation of his $50,000-a-year suite at Rentschler Field. Burton also said he will not pay $8,000 for the inside cover of the program and will transfer all of the football scholarship dollars to the Business School — a donation that has been as high as $1.5 million, he wrote.
He also writes that he is pulling his $20,000 a year donation to the summer head coaching clinic. And after the school returns his $3 million, Burton writes that UConn “can take our name off the Complex.”