Going First Class

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This coming weekend in Rocky Face, Ga., the Carpet Capital Collegiate will be played. Many of the nation's top teams will make the journey to The Farm Golf Club looking to make a statement. But it is one squad in particular, and how they will get to Georgia, who really peaks my interest.
 
UNLV will be flying a private jet across the country as they routinely use this mode of transportation as they head to events around the United States. While this would not be out of character for a football or perhaps a basketball program, it is difficult to grasp a non-money-making sport like golf having such a luxury.
 
That is where UNLV head coach Dwaine Knight comes into play. Knight has been in the college game for decades, and is one of the nicest people you will ever come across. So it should be no surprise that many companies are willing to help out the Runnin Rebel program. Knight has fostered great relationships over the years, and in turn has access to several jets for his team. What a recruiting tool that is!
 
I talked with Knight a couple of weeks back, and found out this mode of transportation has benefited his teams on many different levels.
 
His teams have saved an average of 10 days of travel during the years of private travel. This equals more time in the classroom, and less in airports. The first season of the jetsetting also led to the teams highest GPA in history, including their first 4.0 student. And perhaps not coincidentally, the school won the national championship when they first started with this mode of transportation.
 
Schools like Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech are getting involved with this type of travel, and I would not be surprised to see more of the big-time programs trying to follow in the steps of these teams. Again, it is a huge recruiting tool, and if you look at the success UNLV has had both on and off the golf course, Knight might just be on to something.