SC committee reaffirms ban for state plane usage


By Eric Weisfeld

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Clemson University could no longer use state planes for recruiting athletes under a clause legislators voted to keep in the budget.
The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday refused to delete a budget clause on the prohibition for all colleges.
The use drew criticism from a political blog and legislators after Clemson officials on a recruiting trip posted comments and photos on social media.
Clemson has been the biggest user of state-owned aircraft in the past year. State law allows agencies and public colleges to use the two planes for official business if they pay by the hour.
Republican Rep. Jim Merrill of Charleston says he has no problem with colleges using the planes for academic purposes, but state resources should not be used to recruit 18-year-old athletes.

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