How Much is Too Much?

A closer examination of Jim Boeheim's salary

Ramble on... | William Kirsch | February 16, 2016

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Discussion around the money involved in college sports is undoubtedly a moot point of conversation. Here at Syracuse University, we are no exception to this. While many of us complain about the oversized classes, underfunded student organizations, and undercooked meat – a few key players on the school’s payroll take home the lion’s share of salary.

For those who do not know – Syracuse University is a tax-exempt organization. Subsequently, the university is required by law to file a 990 tax form to the IRS demonstrating where the money is going and why the university should continue to be tax-exempt. The 990 tax forms become public soon after they are filed by the university.

One of the requirements of a 990 form is to list the twenty-five highest paid employees, and what their total compensation is. It comes as a huge shock that the highest salary belongs to Jim Boeheim, who made $2,131,364 in 2013. Two million dollars is a difficult number to comprehend, so I’ve decided to break that number into tangible things that you could buy with it:

  • 199,006 Chipotle “Baracoa and guac” burrito bowls.
  • 168,221 Mermaid Rolls at the Bleu Monkey Café, that’s over a million individual rolls of sushi.
  • 358,815 Turkey Tom subs at Jimmy Johns. Imagine how yoked the bike courier would be after that order.
  • 139,945 Elk Burgers at the Empire Brewing Company in Armory Square.
  • 2,375 Canada Goose Langford Parkas, how many geese is that?
  • 1,000 Louis Vuitton Mélie Handbags.
  • 1,316 computer’s identical to this one – a 13 inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, 256 GB of storage, and a 2.7GHz Dual-core processor…if any of you wants to check my math.
  • 16,469 Heavyweight Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullovers.
  • 840,000 Malaria nets. According to the World Health Organization, 438,000 people died in 2015 from malaria, and UNICEF sells these nets for $2.50.
  • 6,394,092 meals could be provided through the Foodbank of Central New York. One dollar provides three meals, and they annually feed just over 11 million people.
  • 62,682 people in Africa could get access to sustainable water through The Water Project.

Evidently, two million of our tuition dollars could get you a lot. According to Angus Deaton’s ‘happiness plateau,’ any additional money made over $75k a year will not bring any additional happiness in life. Instead of allocating a ridiculous amount of funds towards entertainment, maybe the Syracuse University ought to divert these funds towards “education, teaching, and research.” After all, this is what Syracuse University defines its mission as in its 990 tax form.