Recruiting at Kentucky is a big deal. John Calipari’s basketball program has recruited better than anyone else in college basketball over the last few years, while Mark Stoops has done a good job recruiting ever since he got to Lexington. Part of this is because the two have gone after recruits across the country. Of course, flying all over to get recruits does cost a pretty penny, and over the weekend, it was revealed that Kentucky spent $450,000 on charter jets so that Calipari and Stoops could make recruiting trips during the 2013-14 fiscal year.
“Coaching at Kentucky allows certain opportunities, one of which is to be able to coordinate our busy recruiting schedule and team practices,” said Calipari, who was once again on the road recruiting this week, through a UK spokesman. “Because of access to private planes, I am able to get out and see the kids I need to see but make it back in time to be with my team.”
According to the Courier-Journal, this money comes from the basketball and football recruiting budgets, and does not include other expenses, including “their occasional commercial flights, boosters offering free use of jets in a pinch, hotels, car rentals or the almost exclusively commercial travel for their assistant coaches.”
The report also says that Calipari took a private jet more often than Stoops, which is surprising, as Calipari had four spots open in his 2014 recruiting class, while Stoops had 29, per 24/7. However, Stoops did tell the Courier-Journal that “the administration has been very supportive of me using the private jet when I need it.”
While that is a huge number, at least Wildcat fans can take solace knowing that all of this money going towards flights has paid off in recruiting.