Max Baumgardner, who had donated around $6 million to the University of Louisville, is now withdrawing his donation in protest of Tom Jurich’s dismissal, reports the Courier-Journal.
On Thursday, 88-year-old Max Baumgardner, the retired pilot and savvy investor has protested the firing of the University of Louisville’s athletic director by telling his lawyer to change his charitable trust’s terms. The allocation of around $6.3 million to the university’s athletic department is now being removed.
“I’m not 100 percent happy with myself for doing that,” said Baumgardner to Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal, “but it’s the only thing in my anger that I could think to do. … Frankly. I have feelings about it: Have I done the right thing or the wrong thing? Have I hurt the wrong people because I’m angry at the board of trustees?”
He said Jurich had accomplished “what I didn’t think anybody else could have done” and that his firing was because of “powerful, small-minded people,” according to the Courier-Journal.
The terms of Baumgardner’s trust was that it was going to four beneficiaries: the athletics department, music school and the Norton Childrens Hospital- each receiving 30% of the whole sum. Now, Baumgardner is delegating 45 percent to both the Music school and the childrens’ hospital instead.
The donation has not yet been distributed, and won’t be until after Baumgardner has died.
“I feel a little squeamish about this,” he said. “I don’t like publicity. One of my objections is that they made a big deal (about the original pledge). They mentioned the numbers and I didn’t like that. I got letters from all over the state of Kentucky, asking for money,” the Courier-Journal reported.
The university’s trustee board had voted 10-3 for Tom Jurich’s dismissal on Wednesday without giving a reason. Because of this, Baumgardner guessed what the reason might have been.
“I didn’t think (Jurich) deserved to be fired,” he said to Sullivan via an e-mail. “I think he got caught up with a ‘new broom sweeps clean’ sort of attitude. I was also pretty strong about Pitino. I loved that guy as a coach, but I do understand why they had to fire him. I don’t think we’ll ever have a coach as good.”
Many others have also expressed disapproval for his dismissal, and many are saying fans deserve an explanation.
Original quotes and report obtained by Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal.