North Texas Daily

Opinion: It’s all about the Benjamins, maybe

Opinion: It’s all about the Benjamins, maybe

Opinion: It’s all about the Benjamins, maybe
April 24
01:37 2014

James Rambin // Contributing Writer

In the unlikely event that you follow the exciting world of our university’s funding closely, you might recall that a few days ago, news broke that UNT may have misreported its finances to the state for at least 10 years, claiming to have $23 million more than its actual budget. This financial overstatement, also called an “accounting trick,” was apparently used to hide thousands of un-reconciled transactions and misuse of state funds.

Now that this news has come to light, UNT’s financial officials say they’re not entirely sure where the money went.

UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson actually came out and admitted that the university’s financial records were “clumsy,” which is kind of like your surgeon telling you he’s been up all night drinking right before your anesthetic kicks in.

Here at the Daily, we understand how eye-glazingly dull financial articles can be, so instead, we’re just going to try and help you visualize the importance of $23 million.

First of all, a single Doritos Locos Taco Supreme from Taco Bell sells for $1.69. Using UNT’s misplaced money, you could buy approximately 13,609,467 tacos — before taxes, of course.

If you’re even hungrier, that amount would also buy 3,285,714 Chipotle burritos, or 1,916,666 buckets of chicken at KFC. If you cashed out the $23 million in $100 bills, you’d be carrying around 506 pounds of cash, which is the same weight of the average adult eastern lowland gorilla, the world’s largest living primate. But we can think bigger than that.

Former “Degrassi” actor and current Canadian rap artist Drake has a reported net worth of $35 million. That means UNT’s misplaced $23 million wouldn’t be quite enough cash for you to become Drake yourself — just 65.7 percent of him, which we think is good enough anyway.

But with that kind of money, how long could you maintain the superstar lifestyle? Last year, Drake made headlines for “making it rain” in a North Carolina strip club, throwing a reported $50,000 into the air to be gathered by excited dancers and fans.

If the rapper had UNT’s $23 million, he’d be able to make it rain the same amount for 460 consecutive nights, which might be the greatest economic stimulus our nation’s exotic dancers have ever seen. If UNT ever finds that money, they should consider this plan.

But that’s not even the coolest option. According to, an 8-acre private island in the Bahamas is currently on the market to the tune of about $11 million. If UNT’s top finance officials know what they’re doing — a question that still remains unanswered — they’ll snap that island up before some other undeserving millionaire gets any ideas.

Why? We’re sure plenty of our university’s administration could use a tan, but more importantly, the future Isle of Scrappy could be used as an offshore tax haven, to further obfuscate UNT’s finances and prevent the kind of scrutiny that led to this current embarrassment. It really seems like the next logical step — and besides, we’d have $12 million left over to buy a really sweet yacht.

Sure, it’s a shame that more people don’t seem to care too much about this spectacular accounting failure. The losses probably aren’t directly going to hurt the students or faculty on this campus, so apathy is almost guaranteed — if jobs or tuition prices were threatened, we’d be marching in the streets with pitchforks.

In the end, numbers just aren’t sexy. Reading a news article about a bunch of budget mistakes is almost as boring as doing your taxes, and hey, finance is complicated stuff.

So don’t feel bad for not really understanding how all this mess happened — after all, UNT doesn’t seem to understand it either.

James Rambin is an English junior. He can be reached at

Feature photo: Doritos Locos tacos from Taco Bell. Photo courtesy of Taco Bell Facebook page.

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