Robert G. Burton, a major donor to the University of Connecticut, has demanded the return of a $3 million gift and the removal of his name from one of the school's athletic facilities, the New London Day reports.
The gift was made to help UConn build the Burton Family Football Complex in Storrs, but Burton no longer wants his name associated with the complex or the university after disagreements with athletic director Jeff Hathaway. In a letter, Burton said he had philosophical disagreements with the AD and his management style and no longer desired a relationship with the university. Burton also claimed that Hathaway ignored his offer of advice on the selection of a new football coach.
Burton, the chairman, CEO, and managing member of Greenwich-based Burton Capital Management, has donated some $7 million to the university, including $2.5 million for the football facility, additional funds for an audio system and artwork for the building, and more than $1 million to endow two scholarships.
Burton also has decided he will no longer pay for a $50,000-a-year luxury suite, provide advertising support for the team, or contribute to the school's annual coaching clinic, and he has indicated that he will transfer all scholarships earmarked for the football program to the business school.
In a statement, the university's athletic department disputed Burton's version of what had happened. "Many people, including Mr. Burton, shared their ideas about potential candidates with us....UConn's donors represent a vital aspect of the university, and we respect and appreciate their thoughts and views on various issues."