UConn Football Donor Requests Return of Donation After Coaching Hire

The top financial supporter of the University of Connecticut football program has demanded that the university return $3 million after he was not consulted in the hiring of new head coach Paul Pasqualoni.  Robert G. Burton, who provided the lead gift for the Burton Family Football Complex, has outlined a number of issues and his intent to withdraw his support from the university in a letter to UConn Athletic Director Jeff Hathaway.

The Day of New London has the full story.

Mr. Burton’s legal rights will likely be determined by the terms of any written agreements, such as a donor agreement, that he has with UConn.  It would be interesting to learn whether his donation was conditional, and under what circumstances he could receive a refund.

Although athletic directors have an interest in keeping major boosters involved in the program, it is unlikely that an athletic director would give a booster an official role in the hiring of the head coach.  Rather, a university and a booster might informally agree to communicate concerning important matters.  Proving that such an arrangement constitutes an oral agreement, however, could be both legally and factually challenging.

Nevertheless, this is less a legal matter than a donor-relations issue for UConn.  Universities have a strong interest in keeping their boosters satisfied to fuel the business of collegiate athletics – especially top donors such as Mr. Burton.  Accordingly, UConn may look to mend fences with Mr. Burton rather than formulate a legal defense.

Comments

  1. You made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most
    people will go along with your views on this web site.

  2. I think this is among the most important information for me.

    And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things,
    The web site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D.

    Good job, cheers

  3. It’s difficult to find experienced people for this topic,
    but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ADRP, Sean Patrick Bowley. Sean Patrick Bowley said: RT @ctsportslaw: UConn football donor's refund request: more a donor-relations issue than a legal issue http://wp.me/pbzJ5-18N […]

  2. […] by the school’s Athletic Director, Jeff Hathaway. Paul Caron of Tax Prof Blog has more and so does Dan Fitzgerald of Connecticut Sports […]

  3. […] University of Connecticut and Robert G. Burton have reportedly resolved the differences that caused Mr. Burton to demand the return of a $3 million donation and the removal of his family’s name ….  According to an Associated Press article, the parties resolved the dispute after UConn Board of […]

  4. […] in January over the lack of input that he was given in the search for a new football coach.  See UConn Football Donor Requests Return of Donation After Coaching Hire and UConn and Football Donor Resolve Differences.  In addition to discussing the controversy […]

  5. […] by the school’s Athletic Director, Jeff Hathaway. Paul Caron of Tax Prof Blog has more and so does Dan Fitzgerald of Connecticut Sports […]

  6. […] UConn Football Donor Requests Return of Donation After Coaching Hire […]

  7. […] tenure got off to a rough start when the university’s football supporter, Robert G. Burton, demanded the return of a $3 million do…  Two losing seasons ensued before this year’s 0-4 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: