Who’s The Jack Ass In This Story ?
OK so at what point do you say ‘enough is enough’ ? I’ve always found it laughable when I read stories such as one I came across in Wednesday’s edition of USA Today . The story itself encompasses that of a U Conn booster who having donated $3 million to the university’s athletic program is now looking to have that sum be refunded back to his family . Robert Burton the CEO of Greenwich , Connecticut based Burton Capital Management is aggrieved that the school’s athletics department did not consult him as to their hiring of Paul Pasqualoni as the school’s football coach .
Slide show for your perusal .
Now at what point should one ask what the f_ck is going on here and who’s at fault with the asinine antics shown by Robert Burton ? Isn’t it bad enough that the NCAA can’t even police the schools and athletes now you have boosters now demanding that they be consulted who ought to be hired for an athletic position within a school’s faculty. I understand that without the booster many schools would hardly be able to survive but at the same time I’ve also got to question the rather surreptitious behavior that tends to at times bring down a school and its athletics’ program. I mean if anyone was simply under the impression that Pete Carroll , former athletics director Mike Garrett and the boosters weren’t aware to what was going on within the school’s football and basketball program then they really need to take a look at themselves in the mirror and then undergo a field sobriety test. Less we forget the antics also that took place under Ron Meyer when he was the football coach at SMU and that of many of the school’s boosters at the time ?
Courtesy of USA Today
From staff & wire reports
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — 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.
The Day newspaper of New London first reported news of the letter Tuesday and the response from UConn, which has not said whether it will return the donations or remove the name from the Burton Family Football Complex.
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The Trojans’ former head basketball coach Tim Floyd left the school abruptly not unlike Carroll , himself , who left to take the head coach’s position with the NFL’s — Seattle Seahawks . As we all know the school itself was found to have violated a number of NCAA rules which resulted in a loss of several scholarships and suspension from appearing in BCS Bowl eligible games in the FBS football season. And never mind that Reggie Bush the school’s former Heisman Trophy winner chose to return his trophy of his own volition even though he refuses to acknowledge that he did anything wrong at the time he attended the school on a football scholarship.
Now while U Conn can feel proud of its athletics program I can’t help but wonder how on appearance this all appears to the public at large. While praise has been heaped upon the Geno Auriemma and the women’s basketball team the same can’t be said concerning the improprieties that are said to have taken place under Jim Calhoun’s watch as the men’s basketball coach. And although the NCAA has conducted their own investigation and there was found to be a number of recruiting violations that came to the fore , it has to be said that the action taken by that esteemed institution (NCAA) doesn’t bear out with any punitive damage that one would have thought to be appropriate.
Pasqualoni was hired by the school (U Conn) having left the Dallas Cowboys’ —- coaching staff that was led by Wade Phillips at the time before Jason Garrett assumed the position as head coach of the team . Now while I’m under no illusion that the boosters have a role within the sphere of influence as it relates to college athletics I also feel that any decision concerning the hiring of a head official for an athletics program shouldn’t at all be a part of their sphere of influence. The decision has to be that of the athletics director Jeff Hathaway with some outside input from some members of the faculty and coaches who’ve worked alongside Paul Pasqualoni. In Robert Burton taking this action , it smacks of sphere stupidity and for the CEO to suggest that with him not being consulted as to his thoughts on who should be hired would suggest that he holds sway of the school’s entire athletics’ program . Burton is the school’s top donor to its athletics program and he’s widely known within the state , faculty as a benefactor and philanthropist .
Now what has now come to light is that Jeff Hathaway had informed Robert Burton of a list of candidates that he was seeking to interview for the head coach’s position as U Conn’s football coach. That if anything should have been all that is required of the Jeff Hathaway and nothing else. And if Burton now feels that he’s entitled that to have that $3 million returned to him then he's sadly mistaken ! No criminal act was enacted by the school and nor was he defrauded of that money. And were he to take this case to litigation there seems to be very little chance that he would in fact win the case not unless he was able to prove that he was misled when he donated the sum in question and here that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Collegiate athletics is so awash with corruption not only by way of the actions of boosters , agents , athletes and coaches but it’s gotten to the tipping point where the NCAA itself isn’t without fault here as well. How else can you explain their actions in approving the situation where Ohio State Buckeyes’ player Terrelle Pryor and several of his teammates were allowed to play a postseason bowl game even after we’re informed that the players had violated NCAA rules ? This is a case not so much what’s right with the NCAA but what’s wrong with that body and how in hell’s name can anyone take them seriously as custodians of collegiate athletics and the well being of the student athlete ?
I find it all the more asinine that with each passing year we have such bodies that are wholeheartedly involved in collegiate athletics be given a pass while there’s so many irregularities at every level of collegiate sports. And at no time is there thought that they need to be reined in. Congress’ —- House Oversight Committee has repeatedly tried to conduct an investigation not only into the NCAA but also how the BCS systematically conducts its business and how they derive at their formula in deciding who plays for the national title . It’d take a fool to suggest that there isn’t a great deal of collusion taking place within collegiate football as it relates to the BCS system but then again ….” we’re told it is what it is ” . Never mind the fact that both the NCAA and BCS in conjunction have used their lobbyists to shoot down any proposed action by lower House’s legislative body.
NCAA President Mark Emmert having succeeded the late Myles Brand in the unenviable position of overseeing the governing body of collegiate athletics. His task hasn’t been made any easier with the fact that he comes into this all in the midst of far more fractious problems than ever before . Coaches such as Nick Saban , Gene Chizik , and former Gators’ football coach Urban Meyer have called for there to be restraints placed on sports agents and their access to college athletes on and off campus while they’re in attendance at colleges during their athletic career. And while I’ve no problem with that call I do find it somewhat redundant when the coaches and AD’s however grant access to agents in terms of private interviews and discussions. It all smacks of incredulity and the notion that they themselves are above reproach.
Given the problems that have engulfed Jim Calhoun and the fact that wherever John Calipari seems to go his programs have always come under fire with regard to NCAA violations . It begs the question why the hell are the coaches not asked to report their associations with agents be it formal or informal in nature ? If a student athlete is being held to such a standard then why not the coaches , their staff or an athletic director for that matter ? They’re all accountable for their actions are they not ? But it appears that when the NCAA chooses to punish a program for a transgression of its rules more often than not it appears that it’s the athlete that is punished with impunity . Only when they seek to make an example of a program will they come down with the wrath of God and punish a school and that is only when they seek fit to make an example of such a school.
It’s now redundant to even try and suggest that much of what were now witnessing doesn’t have its roots in what we also see happening at the professional level of sports where agents now having solidified their position with their clients they’re being signed by a professional franchise. We now also have agents on the prowl all over college and around high school campuses , like vultures hovering over the carcass of a dead animal cavorting with college , high school coaches and university athletics directors. College athletics no longer can be taken seriously at all and at no time are the athletes’ best interest taken into account as the only reason collegiate sports to exist is merely as a production line for the next level of sport at the professional level and the countless billions that’s spent by the broadcasters and consumers alike. Money we’re told that goes to the well being of the campus life of the student athlete but at the same what has been the overall benefits when in large part the graduation rates of many programs are actually on the decline rather than being on the increase.
Last year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament where Education Secretary Arne Duncan suggested that participants in the tournament should as such meet the minimum criteria where the students there should at least have a B average and that schools the graduation rates should be not less than 65% of the student athlete body from its previous year . If that had been the case then it would have disqualified more than 60% of the schools that were participants in the tournament. It should come as no surprise that the NCAA wanted to no part of Arne Duncan’s thoughts on the matter, given the fact that they themselves have never shown that much transparency when it comes to the graduation rates of the college athlete. And therein lies the charade that goes on within collegiate athletics .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What are your thoughts concerning what’s now said to be taking place in Storrs , Connecticut at the university and the now adversarial stance between it and its richest benefactor Robert Burton ? Do you believe that he’s within his rights to ask for the return of the $3 million donation made to the school ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this topic and how you view the overall state of collegiate athletics at this juncture .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1)This 1997 photo shows Robert Burton in his Greenwich, Conn. office. Burton, 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. 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. AP Photo/Greenwich Time____ Bob Luckey ….. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved
(2) New University of Connecticut head football coach Paul Pasqualoni speaks at a news conference on campus in Storrs, Conn., Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. AP Photo/Jessica Hill …….
(3) Connecticut basketball head coach Jim Calhoun, right, and Director of Athletics Jeff Hathaway leave a news conference in Storrs, Conn., Friday, May 28, 2010. The University says the NCAA has found eight violations in the school’s men’s NCAA college basketball program. AP Photo/ Jessica Hill ……..
(4) Suspicion and controversy has never been far behind John Calipari coach of the Kentucky Wildcats’ mens basketball team. Throughout his collegiate career Calipari has skirted the rules of the NCAA to where he’s been one a handful of coaches in Division 1 basketball to have NCAA sanctions bought to the programs where he’s coached at the collegiate level. Getty Images/ Nick Johnson ……….
(5) In this Feb. 9, 2008, file photo, Southern California coach Tim Floyd, second from left, is escorted off the court by forward O. J. Mayo (32) and John David Wicker, left, Washington State University associate athletic director, after being ejected, during an NCAA college basketball game against Washington Stat in Pullman, Wash. A former associate of Mayo, who is now in the NBA, has told Yahoo! Sports that Floyd paid a man who helped get Mayo to play for the Trojans. AP Photo/Dean Hare ………..
(6) In this Dec. 16, 2008 picture , President-elect Barack Obama looks on as his Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan speaks during a news conference in Chicago. President Barack Obama is putting education overhaul at the forefront of his agenda as he prepares for his State of the Union address and adjusts to the new reality of a divided government. “No one I’m talking to is defending the status quo,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in an interview. AP Photo/ Carl Mitchell …..
(7) Newly elected NCAA President Mark Emmert is seen here addressing the convened press having succeeded his late predecessor Dr Myles Brand on 1st November , 2010.. Emmert has immersed with the task of trying to clean up the image of the NCAA show more transparency of that body and at the same time tackle violations that have beset the landscape of collegiate athletics . One proposal that Emmert wants in place is to limit the access granted to sports agents on college campuses across the nation. It has been met in some circles with a resounding “no” and at the same time deemed laughable , given the actions of the NCAA when dealing athletes and programs that have violated NCAA rules . AP Photo / A. J. Mast ……….
Alan aka tophatal …………………………….. 😛
Eye candy ………………… Ashalee Albar
De La Soul ……………. “Respect”
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