Donor To UConn Football Program Demands His Money Be Returned

He reportedly gave the school $3M that he would like returned for being ignored in the hiring process of new coach Paul Pasqualoni.  T. Boone Pickens and Phil Knight are laughing somewhere.  From SI:

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 because he says he was shut out of discussions about the selection of a new football coach.

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.

What a joke.  If you want to run the show on the college programs, don’t you have to shell out cash to the tune of $40 – $50 mil?  This guy needs to take lessons in the etiquette of being a sports booster, courtesy every school south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Unbelievable.

[SI]

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Former UConn Coach Randy Edsall Leaves The School On Horrible Terms

A player on the UConn team was so angry that they contacted a newspaper to tell how it all went down. Apparently the coach wasn’t even man enough to face his team to tell them the news. This is the same guy we saw weeping on Sportscenter all week for the player that got shot last year and how much the team means to him and blah blah blah. From the Courant:

Here’s how a UConn freshman football player, who asked not to be identified, described how some members of the team learned of Randy Edsall’s decision to go to Maryland and, what the former UConn coach said to them – and how.

No more than 25 players returned to Connecticut Sunday on the UConn charter. UConn is on break right now and many players scattered when they could. So he hadn’t addressed everybody.

When the plane landed….

“We were on hold for a half-hour, with the operations manager telling us Edsall would be coming on in a few minutes. When Edsall came on he was like, “I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry I can’t do this in person, but due to circumstances … I just want to let you know that it’s not because of you guys. But it’s an opportunity for my family. … I can move on feeling like I’ve accomplished things here and I’m leaving the program in a good way.”

“A couple of coaches said that was BS. … They didn’t know about it. He hadn’t told any of us.

“It really pisses me off because he made Jordan (Todman) address the team last night to say he was leaving. And he isn’t man enough to do it face to face to us?”

“A lot of people were just really upset by the call. He made Todman get up and tell the whole team: ‘Jordan, I think you have something to say to these guys.’ He made him do it face-to-face. But he didn’t do it face-to-face.”

“I’m going to look [at other schools], not Big East or anything. … When you bring in a new coach, the first three or four years [it’s all developing the program)]. But these are Edsall’s players, not the new guy’s. … Well, I’m going to get the — out of here. But what happens with the incoming recruiting class? Are those guys still coming?

“The thing I’m concerned with is, am I going to get my release.”

The player said they had seen Edsall this morning at the hotel. “He could have told us then, face-to-face.

According to the player, Edsall also said on the call: ‘Guys, this just happened. It was a spur of the moment thing. I had no idea.”

I’m hearing now that Edsall was in contract negotiations with Maryland last week…

What a jerk.  Most people also widely agree that this was a lateral move as the UM job isn’t exactly one of the most coveted jobs on the planet.  This is a real shame for a coach who literally built a program out of nothing and completely turned his back under suspect circumstances.  Weak!

[The Courant]

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UConn women go down

The ladies of Stanford women’s basketball ended the University of Connecticut’s 90-game win streak. No matter how you feel about the Huskies passing John Wooden and his UCLA squads, it is impossible to deny that winning that many games in a row is impressive, if not amazing. However, with only passing UCLA by two wins, it is hard to imagine people will speak of both UCLA and UConn 10 years from now in the same sentence. Whether it is fair or not is impossible to decide because it is impossible to compare two entirely different sports. And I think we can all admit, men’s and women’s basketball are played completely differently. UConn doesn’t want to be compared to UCLA, and UCLA doesn’t want to be compared to UConn. Each streak is individual and each may never be broken again.

Stanford jumped out to an early lead and despite a few runs from the Huskies, never relinquished that lead. Maya Moore was off her game all night and also showed that she may not be as mentally tough as she leads us to believe. We say tonight that this young star is, in fact, human. When asked about the streak and how impressive it was these past weeks, she would say that all you have to do is watch how hard they compete in practice to see how hard they work. Well, that may be the case, but tonight, she did not compete until the end of the game. She quit on a play with just over a minute left allowing an easy Stanford layup that basically sealed the deal. I can’t believe Geno Auriemma will let that go anytime soon.

That being said, you have to give a lot of credit to Stanford. Maybe they caught a perfect storm where UConn wasn’t entirely on their game, but they certainly took full advantage and exploited the hell out of it. They played solid, Stanford basketball. UConn gets a lot of teams to play out of their element, and Stanford didn’t fall into that trap at all tonight. It was quite impressive. Stanford was the last team to beat them and seemed to be the only team that really ever had a shot at doing it again… ever.

This is the first time I have watched (mostly) an entire UConn game, and I noticed a few things. They get away with a lot of hand checking and fouling away from the ball, especially in the post. I wondered throughout this game whether that was typical over the past 30 or so games for the Huskies.

This was an incredibly entertaining game to watch despite some absolutely terrible basketball plays and turnovers. Both teams played their hearts out, and it was obvious how badly each team wanted to win. Even with 40 seconds and a eight point deficit, you couldn’t help but feel like UConn still had a fighting chance. You don’t always see that in men’s games.

Congrats, Stanford.

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UConn Women win 89th straight game

I must admit that anyone stepping past John Wooden and his 88 wins at UCLA in the record books is quite impressive. Tonight the women’s basketball team of the University of Connecticut did just that. It has been widely talked about whether these two accomplishments are comparable. If you ask me, it’s tough to say.

For one, I never saw Wooden’s Bruins compete or the level of the teams around them. But it is clear that the Lady Huskies are in a league of their own (no pun intended). They have demolished everyone in their way, having just two games decided by 10 points or less. I have a feeling the level of competition was slightly higher for UCLA, but then again, maybe UConn is just that good right now.

Regardless of how comparable the two are, congratulations needs to be given to the Huskies. To win 89 games in anything is a great accomplishment.

I appreciated Geno Auriemma quoting Wooden after the game, but really wish he would have smiled in the last two minutes of the game. There is nothing worse than a grumpy coach while setting a historic record. I think Nick Saban and Auriemma would get along great.

RIP John Wooden.

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