Report: UConn in talks to buy out AD

Updated: July 24, 2011, 11:14 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The University of Connecticut is negotiating a deal to oust athletic director Jeff Hathaway, school and athletic department sources told The New London Day on Sunday.

Hathaway, who is also currently slated to run the NCAA Division I men's basketball committee this year, has been the school's AD for the past eight years, but sources told The Day that he will depart once the parties find a mutually-agreeable financial settlement. According to the paper, Hathaway is working under a six-year contract that ends in 2017 and has a base salary of $351,717.

Connecticut president Susan Herbst released a statement Sunday, saying she was reviewing all facets of the university, including the athletic department.

"Athletics is a vital part of UConn and there are many ways to evaluate the success of a collegiate athletic department -- academic performance of student-athletes, NCAA compliance, fundraising and overall athletic success," Herbst said in the statement. "We will be excellent stewards of public and private funds in all areas of the University ...

"Accountability and excellence are our themes, going forward."

The school declined further comment on the issue.

The Day reported that the change may take "a few weeks" and although the process could stretch even longer, it is unlikely Hathaway will be the athletic director when the fall semester begins in September.

UConn is coming off an incredibly successful 2010 athletic year, including a national championship in men's basketball, a Final Four appearance for women's basketball and a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl appearance by the football team.

However, the men's basketball program also lost a total of three scholarships for the 2011-12 season following NCAA compliance issues and a poor Academic Performance Rating.

Men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun faces a three-game suspension next season for the NCAA violations and still hasn't decided whether he will return to UConn or retire. He has said he will make that decision sometime this summer, but has no real timetable.

The school also dealt with a disgruntled booster who at one point demanded UConn return $3 million in donations because he was unhappy with the hiring of its new football coach.

Robert Burton, whose family has given over $7 million to the school, complained in a Jan. 19 letter to Hathaway that his opinions were ignored in the process leading to the selection of Paul Pasqualoni as coach. He said he wanted the school to return $3 million and remove his family name from its football complex.

Burton eventually relented and dropped his request after UConn Board of Trustees Chairman Larry McHugh met with him and his family.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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