Clemson gets permission to buy a jet for its athletic department

April 24, 2015 / Athletic Administration
Clemson University has been approved by the state’s Joint Bond Review Committee to purchase a private, eight-passenger jet for its athletic program.

Clemson's athletic department might soon have a new jet for recruiting and fundraising.
Clemson’s athletic department might soon have a new jet for recruiting and fundraising.

The plane would be used primarily for recruiting and fundraising for the athletic program, according to The Post and Courier. The university’s booster club committed $4.5 million for the purchase, but it will cost an additional $400,000 in annual operations.

From The Post and Courier:

“I think it’s a wise decision,” as long as it doesn’t increase student fees, said Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, the committee’s chairman, who also sits on the budget board.

Athletics Director Dan Radakovich repeatedly assured the 10-member panel of senators and House members that the jet would not result in any increase to students. IPTAY will buy the jet, while athletics revenue — primarily ticket sales — will pay for operation and maintenance costs, he said.

The article notes that the athletic department could spend $710,000 annually on pilot’s salary, insurance, fuel and maintenance.

Graham Neff, the university’s associate athletics director, wrote in a letter that “sudden flight changes and the unpredictable nature of coaches’ recruiting schedules support the need for an additional university-owned craft.”

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