Dabo Swinney Airlines?

CLEMSON WANTS PRIVATE JET FOR FOOTBALL RECRUITING || By FITSNEWS || Leaders of Clemson University’s football program – and governor Nikki Haley (a Clemson alum) – are apparently sick of all the bad press over the Tigers’ use of a government-subsidized plane for football recruiting. So Clemson’s athletics organization wants to spend…


|| By FITSNEWS || Leaders of Clemson University’s football program – and governor Nikki Haley (a Clemson alum) – are apparently sick of all the bad press over the Tigers’ use of a government-subsidized plane for football recruiting.

So Clemson’s athletics organization wants to spend $4.5 million (and more than $700,000 on a recurring basis) for its own plane: A Citation CJ2.

The school wouldn’t technically be spending “taxpayer money” on the aircraft, but Clemson is a government-subsidized university so it’s kinda hard to say what is – and isn’t – “public” funding.

(Read our thoughts on that broader debate HERE).

Two years ago, this website exclusively reported on Clemson coaches using the state plane to conduct recruiting trips – a story which prompted outcry from state lawmakers (and a ban on using the plane for such purposes).

Earlier this week, we broke another story related to the state plane -a Beechcraft Super King Air 350 turboprop dubbed “Palmetto 1.”  Apparently in addition to athletic recruiting and “economic development,” it’s also being used by government agricultural bureaucrats to travel to New Jersey.  To promote fruit.

Do any of those things sound like core government functions to you?  Of course not …

Clemson is about to enter into its seventh full season under head coach Dabo Swinney, who makes more than $3 million a year.  Of course Swinney opposes players being paid because “there’s enough entitlement in this world as it is.”

Yeah …. said the guy who wants to ride in this sort of style …

(Click to enlarge)

swinney airlines

(Pic: Via)

Nice …

Just watch, though.  As soon as Clemson gets this plane – which South Carolina’s all-powerful legislative leader Hugh Leatherman has said is a “wise decision” – the University of South Carolina will be looking to upgrade its own athletic department’s turboprop plane.

Simple solution: Privatize all of it!


Related posts


Panthers Trade Up, Grab South Carolina’s Xavier Legette

Will Folks

Letter: Defending Dawn Staley


Dawn Staley Went Woke Again

Will Folks


Fist Snooze April 23, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Don’t bother to explain how the aircraft is being paid for or that USC athletics has their or plane. You are such a transparent fool.

The Colonel April 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm

USC has a King Air for University use – the Football team does not have its own airplane.

Clems Son April 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm

There was an article on this site a while back that says different…

Clems Son April 24, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Also, a quote from the P&C: “The University of South Carolina owns two turboprop planes — one used by administrators, the other used by the athletics department. “

Anonymous Figure April 23, 2015 at 2:53 pm

first of all i love how quick you are to point out Clemson used the state plane, but never bring up USC using it as well.

Its pretty freaking easy to figure out where tax payer money comes from. Its given to them by the state through the treasurer and CGs office or other governmental entities like Pickens County or the Town of Clemson.

Non-tax dollars would come from donations, boosters, IPTAY, and for the sake of argument the athletic department, which is not a governmental entity, doesnt have tax exempt status, generates its own revenue and pays taxes on it.

The Colonel April 23, 2015 at 3:02 pm

USC has its own plane, it’s a Beechcraft King Air 350, tail number N351GC.

I’ve flown in it – it’s a beater. Seats 8, has to be at least 8-10 years old.

easterndumbfuckistan April 23, 2015 at 3:17 pm Reply
The Colonel April 23, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Well then they’re doing a better job taking care of it than I thought… That puppy spends most of its time in the air between Owens and Manassas Regional.

Squishy123 April 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Even a 24 year aircraft isn’t technically considered “old”.

FastEddy23 April 24, 2015 at 11:20 am

Unless it is a helicopter … There are no flying antique helicopters. (IMOP all helicopters more than 1,000 hours old should be scrapped.)

Squishy123 April 24, 2015 at 5:17 pm

And you base that on what?

FastEddy23 April 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm

And still perfectly safe, reliable … The only thing that might make it “a beater” would be the interior. Let us know if it comes up for sale.

easterndumbfuckistan April 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

I have a few pilot friends that would be drooling all over themselves if they could buy the aircraft off the University for (fairly)cheap.

Rocky April 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Dang. I bet Tango ain’t flowed on dat plane.

Squishy123 April 23, 2015 at 3:39 pm

An 8-10 year old aircraft is a “beater”?

The Colonel April 23, 2015 at 4:38 pm

Seats are worn, carpet is worn. About as good a shape as the Army C-12s I get to scoot around in. If it’s 20+ years old it was refurbished along the way but it’s still showing its age.

fred farkel April 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Colonel you should say it’s about as good a shape as the this shitty state.

Squishy123 April 23, 2015 at 9:54 pm

You say like that’s a bad thing. You should be upset if it were a pristine aircraft that spends most of it’s time on the ground sitting in a hanger.

Clems Son April 23, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Clemson has a university owned King Air too. That doesn’t mean that the athletic department doesn’t still take charter flights for recruiting.

Rocky April 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Yup. In a state with the average family eats hot dogs and mac n cheese on 23,000 a year, Clemson needs to spend a few million of tax payer money on a plane. Used to be the coach got in his car and drove there.

Squishy123 April 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Does Slurrier drive a state car when recruiting out of state? I doubt Dabo will be flying from Clemson to Greenville to recruit.

Anonymous Figure April 23, 2015 at 3:59 pm

shit, hed be driving from clemson to greenville just to get on it

Clems Son April 23, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Actually, they fly out of Clemson.

Scooter April 23, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Heck, recruiting is below Spurrier. It interferes with his golf.

Squishy123 April 23, 2015 at 9:51 pm

He was interviewed earlier this week about how he and Jeri like to travel during down periods and make it home every 7-8 days for one day before taking off again. This is how coaches who don’t recruit roll bitches. Which is why USCe is okay with a turboprop plane, why buy a jet if it’s just going to be used by assistants.

Clems Son April 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Not taxpayer money. All privately donated funds through IPTAY. Not that facts matter to you.

Beartrkkr April 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm

Or they could have spent 6.5 million on a new video board like South Carolina did a couple years ago…along with 30.5 million for a new tailgating area to clean up the industrial landscape.

mamatiger92 April 23, 2015 at 3:25 pm

“The school wouldn’t technically be spending “taxpayer money” on the aircraft, ”

Then what’s the point of this article?

Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

Squishy123 April 23, 2015 at 3:38 pm

It’s paid for and maintained by the Clemson Athletic Department, would you bitch if USCe’s Athletic Department bought a plane for it’s own use? Why is USCe building practice facilities, special education (no pun intended) facilities, etc… specifically used by Dirtpeckers and no one else in the student body? Because it’s paid for and supported by USCe athletic donors???

NSJS April 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm

I agree with the Tater. This is private money, exactly what FITS advocates. I’m not sure what his point is about paying college football player.

Squishy123 April 23, 2015 at 9:45 pm

He didn’t say a damn thing when the state was paying Slurrier $1.5 million in state salary (regardless of where it came from) because Slurrier figured out how to boost his state retirement payments which are based on an employee’s 12 highest quarters. I see it’s back down to where it was before this little experiment. But he got at least 4 quarters factoring in with that little experiment. Will said nothing even though he was made aware of Slurrier being listed as the state’s highest paid state employee by $1 million. Second highest was Slurrier’s boss.

CNSYD April 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm

What the article does not say is that this will also replace Clemson’s aging crop duster, so it will do more than benefit the football program.

Luxury Crop Duster April 23, 2015 at 3:50 pm

You’ve got to be shitting me.

shifty henry April 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm

No shit – SC State has first dibs on the crop duster….

CNSYD April 23, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Little sophomoric boys are using their Mom’s computer again. The above post was NOT by the REAL CNSYD but by one of Will Folks’ butt buddies or perhaps Folks himself. Maybe one day Mace will come back so this site can be fixed so little children can’t lie about who they really are. But then that would be above the level of Folks who is so full of shit his eyes are brown.

Ol' Green Tom April 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Bitch about them leasing the state plan. Bitch about them buying their own plan (with IPTAY money). Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. It was FITS bitching that caused the legislature to revoke their privileges to use the state plane for recruiting in the first place. What should they do? Are you just pissed that the OBC has to fly in a turbo-prop while Dabo gets the jet?

Dan Ruck April 23, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Hell no! Buy ’em two giant jets! Poor folks like me who can’t even afford Clemson tickets love the idea of football pimps ridin’ around in super comfort!

FastEddy23 April 24, 2015 at 11:23 am

The alums can always charter. No need for any university/college to own and maintain = a huge waste of any school’s resources unless it actually is a flying school.

Manray9 April 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm

The bottom line is ALL our state universities have lost sight of their mission. Providing sports entertainment to the masses on 12 days per annum shouldn’t be the objective of a university. It’s another obvious case of our society going off the rails. Let’s spend all that money on academic endeavors — somebody may actually learn something.

mamatiger92 April 23, 2015 at 4:51 pm

It’s not the school’s money. It is the Athletic Department’s money.

Manray9 April 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm

The schools supply many many thousands of dollars in support services and facilities. My point: The emphasis is wrong.

Clems Son April 24, 2015 at 12:35 pm

So you are saying that the schools should not support athletics at all? Just shutter the stadiums/arenas/fields? Athletics provide no benefit to the school or it’s students? Should they also stop with all the “research” that they do? That costs tons of money and isn’t necessary to the academic success of most of the students either.

Scooter April 23, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Suits the chit out of me if we did away with sports at both schools. Fans are certified idiots.

The Colonel April 23, 2015 at 10:38 pm

You do realize that the Clemson Carolina football rivalry has been going on for more than a hundred years (1896 was the first game) and that the football program’s revenues fund most of the sports programs at both schools.

Manray9 April 23, 2015 at 11:54 pm

Whenever big-time college football is questioned the first arguments always trotted out are “football revenues” and athletic booster funding, but as I wrote above, state revenues and fees provide many thousands of dollars in support services, infrastructure, and maintenance. For example, who paid for the stadiums, the roads, and parking facilities supporting them? It’s not the mission of state universities to provide programming for ESPN.

easterndumbfuckistan April 24, 2015 at 9:44 am

State revenue hasn’t provided any support to athletics in years for big-time schools. Take USC for an example. Williams-Brice Stadium was originally built in the 1930s as Columbia Municipal Stadium, the city decided they didn’t really want it so they gave it to the university. Minor upgrades were made over the years until sometime in the 1970s when the estate of Martha Williams-Brice donated money to upgrade the stadium to somewhat what you see now (upper decks added, remodeled the stands, etc.) every other upgrade since then has come from athletic department revenue, and booster support. ESPN pays $$$$$$$$ to conferences and schools to carry college football all this money goes back to the athletic department for salaries, facilities, etc. and the remainder goes back to the universities for other needs thus reducing the amount of tax dollars and tuition money needed to operate these schools.

I. G. Norant April 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Our Universities have not changed (or lost sight of) their mission. Between Clemson and USC, there’s over 50,000 active students. Only a small percentage of them are involved in athletics and only a small percentage of the school budgets go to athletics. Taxpayer money doesn’t support athletics…private donations do. If you can talk the general public into donating more to academics, more power to you but to suggest that the schools have “lost sight of their mission” is just ignorant.

Upstate Tiger April 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm

Bet it will become a personal air taxi for the Trustees and well connected Alumni!!!

VoiceofReason April 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Fits and etc. and most you are ignoramuses. You all know nothing about CU. CU doesn’t care what you ill informed Fits Kool Aid drinkers think. CU keeps moving on trying to drag this state into the future.

a face in the crowd April 23, 2015 at 9:11 pm

By insisting that the most prominent building on campus remain named after a murdering white supremecist? Or is it by covering up a possible homicide? Please, enlighten us about the visionary university.

Bible Thumper April 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm

State law prevents the renaming of Tillman Hall. As part of the legislation that the Black senate and house members voted for to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol dome and the legislative chambers, the Confederate flag was place on the Capitol monument and it was made illegal to rename buildings, roads and memorials etc..

Squishy123 April 23, 2015 at 9:57 pm

They won’t quit or be happy until everything is named after MLK, Travon Martin, or Michael Brown.

shifty henry April 24, 2015 at 7:43 am

The GrandTurnip….

CNSYD April 24, 2015 at 11:32 am

Don’t confuse dumb face with facts. He would prefer that the Jefferson Memorial be renamed the Hemmings memorial.

mamatiger92 April 24, 2015 at 8:20 am

So, if we are going to rename every building in this state named after a slave holder or known racist, maybe we should start with the Strom Thurmond Wellness Center at USC-E.

Southern Patriot April 24, 2015 at 9:57 am

The dick don’t know no race

The Colonel April 23, 2015 at 10:34 pm

CU doesn’t care about what Fits has to say and yet here you are commenting on it…

FastEddy23 April 24, 2015 at 11:26 am

And that future would be what? How to burn taxpayer cash without getting caught = just have the university do it?

Does CU have a real MBA program? Does it teach the efficiencies of business and operations management? Or is it just another lame Gruberment Admin teaching mill? (Stupid is as stupid does.)

Ghost of Pitchfork April 23, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Ben “Piitchfork” Tillman, he of killing uppity black-folk fame and klempsun hero, is rolling over in his grave at the profligate spending by the I Plant Taters Avery Year Club. Even if you have it, you don’t spend it. Never know, the black-folks might revolt, and you may have to flee West.

easterndumbfuckistan April 23, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Here’s Clemson’s current aircraft. N91CT –

Hopefully they don’t paint the CJ-2 in that awful Clemson livery as that would be aircraft abuse:

fred farkel April 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

In my humble opinion I think that Jeff,”I played football at Clemson under Danny Ford”, Duncan should try to get a pilot’s license for this sucker and fly the whole state of South Carolina around! It’s ll about BIG TIME SPORTS for mental midgets and lousy politics just to screw the little. I really feel for the little people in this cracker state.

mamatiger92 April 24, 2015 at 8:36 am


Deo Vindice SC April 23, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Well, the pub gas tax is going up.

Deo Vindice SC April 23, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Kids, Help us Lord ?

euwe max April 23, 2015 at 11:43 pm

…and in other news, Republicans are still scum.

idcydm April 24, 2015 at 6:45 am

Switch to being a Clemson fan Fits, maybe they’ll give you a ride to DC.

Philip Branton April 24, 2015 at 10:30 am

Ya know………we have a FITSNEWS challenge. If William Shatner can start a social campaign on Kickstarter to raise 3 BILLION to build a water pipeline from Seattle to California…… then Wil Folks can obviously be used to raise funds to head the “South Carolina Sports Transportation Foundation” that supports all Bus, Jet, Limo, Taxi, and Uber transportation issues…!!!

Think, fitsnews social comment warriors, the whole foundation could be run from this website alone with all records posted in REAL TIME to benefit taxpayers..!!

Now imagine another win, WIN…………how would this be used to ensure STUDENTS across our state learned how to actually USE social media like our founding fathers would have against the British if they had cell phones and websites….!!!?

I nominate Grand Tango to be the initial “transparent treasurer”….!!

PS:………Yaba Daba….DO…!

Jack April 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

All the money earned by the athletic programs should be put back into the University and used to reduce tuition. What we pay coaches is stupid. Buying jets is stupid.

ELCID April 24, 2015 at 11:49 am

Start paying the players before you start flying around recruiting them in JETS!

Richard Rawlins April 25, 2015 at 6:22 pm

It’s NOT STATE TAX DOLLARS. Fits News has once again almost sorta told the truth. This is not paid for with any tax dollars, not matter how Folks and his minion spin in. Sorry Folks once again you’ve miss represented the truth.

Billy April 27, 2015 at 1:34 pm

When the athletic departments of any major public University pays fair rent for the stadium, rent for the practice facilities, rent for the athletic dorms, and fair market license fee for the use of the University name and trademarks, etc, then I will consider the possibility they are not using taxpayer money. Until then they are, because they should be paying for all those things, and the payment should be used to reduce tuition for other students. Not to buy Jets and pay massive salaries to coaches.

I would ask how much money Clemson or Carolina football would make, if they were not affiliated with CU or USC. I say the same as any other start up pro-football team that is not part of the NFL. Zero.

The school’s name, the school’s alumni, the school’s students, etc. are the value. The team would not exist without those things. Money can’t buy any of that.

That is also why I oppose paying players. If they want to be paid they should try out for a professional team. Don’t waste time on college. But it is the school that makes the team not the team that makes the school. The school will exist without the team, but the team will not exist without the school. So in my opinion, players should not be paid, coaches should be paid way less and we should not be buying jets.


Leave a Comment