|Quoting STLGph (Reply 1):|
More importantly...why are they spending the money to charter a plane for a mere 400 mile trip?
6-7 hours each way... that'd be two days of 'lost time' when you factor in game prep, game time, meals, sleep, etc. They can also recover some or all of flight costs through not needing to book hotel rooms or additional meals if they can do it as a day trip.
Division I schools regularly use charters -- they've got the financial commitment for this kind of thing at this level. In fact, this is expected of the typical Div I school and mentioned at time of joining Div I. I know this as my alma mater recently switched several sports programs from Div III to Div I.
One of the conditions of acceptance into Div I was that they had to guarantee a minimum budget (which was significantly higher than for Div III) for various aspects of the athletics department including a stated expectation of greater amount of longer distance travel. Mostly for recruiting, though, in my alma mater's case.
Particularly useful when short plane trips cuts down on amount of lost time, which can then be better leveraged for planning meetings, practices, watching 'film', classes, recruiting, etc.