Family wants $500K donation UW tennis returned

April 17, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A family that donated $500,000 to the University of Wisconsin-Madison tennis program five years ago wants the money back.

The Capital Times newspaper reported Friday that Richard Coyle’s family wanted the money to go to scholarships but it was used to renovate the athletic department’s outdoor tennis facilities.

The family donated the money in June 26 as per a statement in Richard Coyle’s mother’s will that the money fund the UW tennis program. The family contends she meant for the money to fund scholarships as a way to honor her late husband, Douglas Coyle, who attended UW-Madison on a tennis scholarship in the 1930s.

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Richard Coyle maintains the money was meant to enrich lives, not pour concrete. UW-Madison officials say Coyle is mistaken and the money was available for the university to use as needed. Athletic Director Barry Alvarez wrote in a letter to Chancellor Rebecca Blank in 2016 that the renovations were the tennis program’s greatest need.

UW spokesman John Lucas added that the Coyle family has expressed support for using the gift toward renovations in in-person visits, phone calls and emails.

Richard Coyle asked UW leadership multiple times for a full refund since 2019 and has gotten no response.