A year after deadly crash, Oklahoma State University seeks to update travel policy

by Silas Allen Modified: November 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm •  Published: November 17, 2012
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“When I was chairman, the Board would not allow me to fly in single-engine airplanes,” Allen said in an email to Hargis. “When they get the cause sorted out you might consider if it makes sense to have tighter rules. We have had more than our share of airplane accidents.”

In his response, Hargis said a similar rule applies to him.

“We will look at the possibility of extending it to coaches although I already know the push back we will get ... from the coaches,” Hargis said in the email obtained under an open records request. “We'll review it nonetheless.”

Questions linger

Questions have surfaced since the crash about how the university's travel policy applies to coaches. The single-engine Piper did not meet the policy's requirement that aircraft used in university-related travel be “powered by two or more turbine engines.”

OSU officials have said that policy doesn't apply to coaches when they travel without student athletes.

However, a section of the policy deals specifically with coaches and athletic department staff traveling without students. It outlines what types of aircraft are acceptable for such trips. The section states that coaches traveling alone may use other aircraft that would be prohibited for team travel.

The policy then lists what appear to be minimum requirements for such other aircraft. Included in the list is a requirement that aircraft be “powered by two or more turbine engines.”

The proposed policy change would not be the first time OSU has revamped its travel policies for athletics.

The school did so after the Jan. 27, 2001, plane crash that killed two basketball players and eight other men associated with the school or its men's basketball program.

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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