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USM plans to lease jet

The University of Southern Mississippi has received approval from the state College Board to lease a Beechcraft King Air 200 aircraft for five years from the USM Foundation for a total of $1.89 million.

No agreement has been signed.

USM spokeswoman Jana Bryant says the plane would be used by university personnel for official business.

USM President Martha Saunders says the plane would save the school money on trips.

Richard Giannini, USM athletic director, says the plane could be used for recruiting trips.

In 2005, the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation partnered with two unidentified lawyers to buy an airplane that was used to recruit players. The plane was sold last year.

The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University both have airplanes.