A Greenwich businessman's decision to seek the return of a $3 million donation to the University of Connecticut football team has triggered debate over how much influence boosters should have in college sports programs.
Robert Burton, the chief executive officer of Burton Capital Management, wants the money returned and his name removed from the school's football complex. Burton is angry about the hiring of Paul Pasqualoni as the team's coach to replace Randy Edsall. In a scathing letter to athletic director Jeff Hathaway, Burton said he wanted to be involved in the hiring process of a new coach.
A lot of people have expressed opinions on the topic since the news broke Tuesday, ranging from former basketball coach Bobby Knight to columnists for newspapers across the U.S., including the Boston Herald.
In his letter, Burton said he was not seeking "veto power" but wanted to be included in the hiring process. He takes Hathaway to task for his lack of communication, and cited his relationship with Edsall as part of the reason the former coach left for Maryland. He also said Hathaway has poor relationships with UConn basketball coaches Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma, and other college personnel.
The Day newspaper of New London first reported news of the letter Tuesday. In a response from the school, the athletic department said Hathaway "did receive and acknowledge" Burton's advice before Pasqualoni was hired.
What is your reaction to Burton's letter? Should boosters have a say in the hiring of a coach at a university?