BREAKING! TNIAAM has obtained a copy of a letter sent to Jim Boeheim last night following Syracuse's 90-68 loss to Seton Hall. The letter was from Robert Burton, former UConn benefactor and recently-retroactive Syracuse benefactor. Burton has concerns about Boeheim's decision to bench Fab Melo last night and wonders why he was not consulted.
The full transcript is below:
When I called you on Monday, January 24th, I made things very clear to you as the newest donor in the Syracuse basketball program. I told you that I wanted to involved in the starting line-up decision-making process for the next game. I also gave you my insight about who would be a good fit for the opening tip as well as who would not. For someone who has thought about giving $3 million dollars to the basketball program as soon as I get it back from UConn, I do not feel as though these requests were asking for too much.
Your lack of response on either of these requests tells me that you do not respect my point of view or value my opinion. After I left a very concerned voicemail on Tuesday, I did not hear back from you. I should note that I had to hear from several other sources about the pending lineup change, but I did not hear about it from the Syracuse Athletic Department.
To be crystal clear, I was not looking for veto power over the roster change. I just wanted to be kept in the loop and add value and comments on any prospective replacement for Fab Melo. This is the same process that Lew Andreas had with his donors when he coached Syracuse in the 20's. You did not call me and ask for information on James Southerland or talk to my son, who watched Southerland play on TV a couple times. Instead, you listened to others. You started a wingman at the center spot. Southerland will not put this program where it needs to be. You seem to forget that I have three sons who played at Greenwich High School and should probably have scholarships to Syracuse by now.
I am fed up with you as a basketball coach because you did not let the lineup-change process take place in an open manner. You and your assistant coaches talked amongst yourselves and made a critical decision about who you were going to play without input from knowledgeable people who just started caring about this program a couple days ago.
I believe that you are not qualified to be a Division 1 basketball coach and I would have fired you long ago. You do not have the skills to manage and cultivate new lineups or the ability to tell people with large amounts of money about them. The primary reason Eric Devendorf left early was because he could not work with you and if a class-act like Devo doesn't like you, that speaks volumes sir.
What you don't know about me, other than being a college football player, captain and NFL draft pick, is that I think I know more about basketball than the majority of college coaches in America. Especially you. I watched a lot of basketball games in my youth. A LOT. While in grad school I lived on the same dorm room floor as Harry Schmigel and he knew a bunch of guys on the basketball team. I own twelve, count them, TWELVE autographed basketballs signed by Michael Jordan. I am fully qualified to assess basketball coaches and their ability to match-up with their roster's needs.
During the past two days, I have compiled a list of money that I was thinking of giving to Syracuse and I've come up with a total of $692 million. Based on my thinking about committing to the program, I would think that the men's basketball coach would want to listen to me, or at least meet at Brueggers Bagels to talk about my ideas for the team.
After this slap in the face and embarrassment to my family, we are so upset that we are out of Syracuse. What that means is that we do not want to deal with people like you, who we do not trust and cannot count on to make the correct decisions or do anything right with my theoretical money.
Please be advised of the following nine actions we plan to take effective today:
1. We will not support, pay or use the basketball box at the Carrier Dome that we were thinking of purchasing. That box will sit empty from now on. Unless someone else buys it, I guess.
2. I will not purchase the front inside cover of the basketball program like I was thinking of doing. That's another loss of theoretical money for you. Choke on it.
3. I will transfer all of the money set aside for basketball scholarships and instead put that towards business the students. The grand total of that money is $0 Million. But that's today. Who knows, one day that could, like, a gajillion.
4. I want you to return the $692 Million I was thinking of donating to the school. I know that I technically haven't given you that money yet, but I would consider it a gesture of good faith on your part. It's the least you can do.
5. I will not be supporting the Jim Boeheim Syracuse Fantasy Basketball Camp this summer. UNLESS I am named a captain and get to pick my team. AND I will be picking Gerry McNamara and he will play center. These are my conditions.
6. The Burton Family will not be making any future donations to Syracuse. We will not be making any past donations either.
7. When the press contact me I plan to tell them the truth and the entire story about how your lack of support was the primary reason Fab Melo isn't averaging a triple-double and about how you didn't even give your program's largest theoretical donor the chance to decide the best way to play him. I learned a long time ago from my personal friend Dr. Billy Graham that the truth helps heal all falsehoods. He's a DOCTOR, Jim. He knows things.
8. I was going to set up my first-line managers program at Syracuse's Whitman Business School but based on Tuesday's results I will be setting up at Seton Hall instead. Seton Hall is home to tomorrow's leaders and today's three-point specialists, the kind of people I want to associate with.
9. I will stop rooting for Richard Blaise to win Top Chef this season. He's clearly so much better than everyone else, there's no sport in it. I'll root for Trei instead. I know this is unrelated but I need to write it down so I'll remember to do it.
Lastly, do not underestimate me or what I have outlined. I have already obtained legal counsel from several law firms with many JEWISH lawyers. That's right, I'm friends with Christians like DOCTOR Billy Graham AND Jews. If you are looking for a fight then you have selected the right family, because as we both know, by sitting Fab Melo you directly attacked MY FAMILY. I will crush your face.
We want our theoretical money and respect back. Most of the people who know me know that I am awesome. So is my family. We are thinking of changing our last name to Awesome. And I played football in college, did I mention that? If I hadn't, I would have worked in coal mines. Doesn't that sound awful? Shame on anyone who works in coal mines, they should have played college football instead. Lazy. Just like you.
I wish Dr. Daryl Gross nothing but the best because he is a DOCTOR like DOCTOR Billy Graham. Unlike you, Jim. You're not a doctor. You're a charlatan parading around like cock of the walk while the real cocks of the walk such as myself do the real work.
Robert G. Burton
P.S. - Can I get five tickets to the Georgetown game? Preferably courtside but I will accept lower-level behind the opponent's bench as well so I can cheer for them. Thank you.