This season, the men’s basketball team finished 11-20, with a pitiful record of 2-14 in conference play. They were never a real contender in the conference, and brought in very low numbers of spectators throughout the season. In short, it was another lackluster season for a Binghamton University athletic team.
In spite of this poor performance, the head coach, Tommy Dempsey, made a whopping $256,404 in 2017. On top of that, the rest of the coaching staff together earned $386,159 for a grand total of $642,563 going toward paying the men’s basketball coaching staff for 2017. Keep in mind that this is only one athletic program.
Frankly, this is an outrageous amount of pay for the coaches of a mediocre basketball team at an underfunded state school. It is abhorrent that the University, whose primary mission is supposed to be “higher education,” is willing to support these salaries while severely limiting funding towards academic institutions. This upcoming year, the University is issuing a universitywide hiring freeze.This will leave professors and graduate students even more overworked and students without the resources they need to earn a satisfactory education. Faculty are engaged in incredibly important research that serves to benefit all of humanity. From Harpur to Watson, professors conduct groundbreaking work that is beneficial to students and the Binghamton community at large. Basketball coaches and any other athletic coaches, on the other hand, contribute nothing of real value to the community. Athletics here at BU are unable to support themselves and leech off of university funds (see “athletic fees” in the breakdown of your fees), while giving little back to the school. Nothing meaningful, nothing of value to society, can come out of such large payments to coaches.
As a student at BU and a citizen of New York state, I see nothing good coming out of an athletics staff being paid $642,563. That is money that could be put towards hiring faculty in other departments or further funding valuable, groundbreaking research. What it simply comes down to is that the University and New York state need to fully support our academic institutions before putting such large amounts of money toward athletic programs.
Harold Jones is a junior majoring in geology.