Bill would ban using state planes to recruit
The South Carolina House of Representatives approved a proposal to ban state colleges and universities from using state aircrafts to recruit athletes Tuesday.
The lone no-vote on the resolution was from state Rep. B.R. Skelton, a Republican from Pickens and a Clemson graduate. Clemson football coaches have been using state airplanes for recruiting trips for multiple years and, as of October, the university had reimbursed the state for 30 flights. The reimbursement amounted to more than $90,000.
In October, Clemson officials told The State that due to the sale of one of the university’s planes, coaches had to use state aircrafts more often because they were cheaper than chartering a private plane.
Clemson University President James Barker used state-owned planes the most, but other top travelers include football coach Dabo Swinney and basketball coach Brad Brownell.
USC owns two planes that coaches use to recruit athletes.
—Amanda Coyne, Assistant News Editor
Ameris Bank to move offices to Main Street
Ameris Bank’s South Carolina headquarters is moving onto Main Street in May, The State reported.
The bank, which has nine branches throughout the state, will fill 3,000 square feet on the ground floor of 1333 Main St. and 12,500 square feet elsewhere in the building. Currently, its state headquarters are on Gervais Street.
Ameris has 60 branches throughout the Southeast, and the local move adds to a growing resurgence of Main Street.
The area’s expected to benefit from a student housing project next year and will see the addition of Agape Senior’s headquarters across the street from Mast General Store and the new Nickelodeon Theatre later this year.
In the last months of 2012, the amount of vacant office space fell sharply as a result of the sale of three major office towers on Main Street.
—Thad Moore, News Editor
SC State enrollment drop spurs ‘aggressive’ strategies
Officials at South Carolina State University are implementing an “aggressive” new recruiting program to combat falling enrollment at the school.
A drop in enrollment for the spring semester could cost the university $5.1 million, adding to an already hefty deficit, The (Orangeburg) Times and Democrat reported.
Cynthia Warrick, the university’s president, told The Times and Democrat that she and the vice president for academic affairs had been “making the rounds” to technical colleges to recruit new students.
Last fall’s declining enrollment cost the university $3.2 million in addition to a $1.9 million loss in housing and food services.
SCSU is already operating in the red with a rolling deficit of more than $6 million.
The university plans to cover the costs by cutting out discretionary spending and pulling money from other areas of the budget, according to The Times and Democrat. SCSU’s Vice President for Finance Eric Eaton said 4,200 to 4,500 students would be ideal to balance the budget, but that 3,900 would be able to maintain the university’s current state.
—Sydney Patterson, Managing Editor