Robert G. Burton, a college booster who is also the CEO of Burton Capital Management, is pissed that no one consulted him on the hire of Paul Pasqualoni, the new football coach at Connecticut. In fact, he is so pissed, that he wants that $3 mil he so kindly donated to the athletics department.
I’ve got a couple of thoughts on that.
First, boosters should have a “Coke and a smile” and shut the hell up. Boosters should know their role. Their job is to donate and promote. The administrators’ jobs are to hire the best coaches money can buy and run their respective athletic departments.
Boosters remind me of those nerds in high school who were made fun of and left out of the social circles known as the “in-crowds” because they were to busy focused on their grades and not what was in style. They figured, “well, one of these days I’ll get into a good university so I can be able to land a great job and BUY those ‘cool kids’!”
So how do those boosters get their revenge? Buy their way into the inner-circles and flex their muscles on the unsuspecting victims, which is in this case athletic directors and other high-ranking administrators.
All of which leads me to my other thought: what else is new?
Boosters put on petulant hissy-fits because THEY CAN. After all, they are the ones who make the multi-million dollar donations. They are the ones who give money to 4- and 5-star recruits – ERRR, I mean pitch and market their universities to those aforementioned recruits.
So guess what happens if the coaches are not winning games or if the athletic directors are stinking up the joint? They threaten to withhold future multi-million dollars from the school (or in the case of Burton, ask for $3 million back and remove his name from the athletic complex) unless they get what they want.
After all, everyone knows that college boosters – not athletic directors nor college presidents – run athletic programs.
Hell, if you were a fat cat like Burton, T. Boone Pickens, or Nike founder Phil Knight wouldn’t you exert some sort of power? I know I would…