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Clemson is a buying multi-million dollar jet to help their coaches recruit


The State

Tying to get an edge in recruiting over the past few years has led coaches and athletic departments pulling the trigger on new uniforms, updated facilities, deciding to cover the full cost of attendance, and staffs flying all over the country to work satellite camps in an effort to further their brand.

Now, thanks in part to schools like Clemson, you can add committing to buy a multi-million dollar jet to that list.

On Wednesday, lawmakers in South Carolina approved plans to buy a second aircraft for the school's athletic department, using money from the booster club and athletic revenues. The new jet will seat eight passengers, and will give the coaching staff an option other than expensive private charter flights, which they currently use.

“The increasing high demand for this aircraft and the unpredictability of usage has created an environment where the athletic department and the university would benefit from purchasing an additional aircraft."

"Specifically, sudden flight changes and the unpredictable nature of coaches’ recruiting schedules support the need for additional university-owned aircraft.” associate director of athletics Graham Neff told SC Now.

As Neff points out, not only is it more cost-effective, but it's also going to make the headache of recruiting travel much easier for the support staff.

Clemson's booster club has committed to spending up to $4.5 million for the new jet, and if the cost exceeds that amount, additional funds will come from athletic revenue.

The Tigers finished last season with a top five recruiting class nationally, and while they're certainly not the first program to secure their own private jet to dodge expensive charter flights in order to get their coaches out in front of more recruits in a cost-effective way, this move illustrates a growing trend on what athletic departments are willing to do for coaches who kill it on the recruiting trail.