Would you let your daughter be a ‘recruiting hostess?’

There are three things I don’t want to hear from my daughter when she goes away to college:

  1. Mom, I’m gonna be on “Girls Gone Wild.”
  2. Mom, I’m on a MTV reality show.
  3. Mom, I’m a recruiting hostess for a major university athletic program!

The last one may seem odd if you don’t follow college football or haven’t heard the latest news about possible University of Tennessee recruiting violations involving “hostesses.”

The NCAA is investigating whether the University of Tennessee violated recruiting rules when two of the school’s “recruiting hostesses” showed up at a high school game more than 200 miles from the university. The young women showed up dressed cute with signs for these high school players.  They claim they didn’t meet with the students, but photos have popped up of the girls posing with the players.

But the accusations go further than just meeting with players off campus.

From The New York Times story about the University of Tennessee investigation:

“Also on Friday, Keith Easterwood, a veteran summer basketball coach, said that on a visit last year with his son, a football recruit, he had to ask a hostess to stop brushing her breasts against both him and his son.”

“He recalled saying, ‘Young lady, if you don’t stop doing that, we’ve got a problem.’

“Easterwood said that he took a group of basketball players to a Western Kentucky football game at Tennessee this year, and that the presence of the hostesses had his players ‘literally reduced to blubbering idiots.’ ”

“ ‘I’ve been up there five times, four for football and one basketball visit,’ Easterwood said. ‘My observation is that this is a very organized operation. These girls have obviously been groomed. There’s a lot of eye contact and touching.’ ”

Another story pulled quotes and photos from a UT hostess’s My Space page. From Deadspin, a sports Web site:

“One is Lacey Pearl Earps, whose name is well known on SEC message boards. (That’s her above, with current UT freshman Bryce Brown.) According to her MySpace page, she is a student at University of Tennessee and she “recruits champions.” There are numerous photos of her hugging what appear to be Tennessee football players and/or recruits. (The pictures are small, but clearly taken on a football field.)”

Depending on who you ask, the ‘hostesses” are either top-notch ambassadors of the university,  or according to many critics,  young women who use their looks to seduce 17-year-old boys into picking a college.

In this AP story from 2003, members of the Georgia Girls  (as it used to be called at UGA) make the program sound like Rhodes Scholars who just happen to take athletes for tours around the campus. UGA added several men as hosts several years ago to help change the impression of the group and the women started wearing active wear instead of tight black dresses for tours.

This Web site offered a quite different view of  hostess programs in general. From a brief history by Deadspin:

“There are also two essential facts that every hostess group shares. One, is that they are almost universally female-only. The groups were all given cutesy names like the Texas Angels, the Hurricane Honeys, the Bengal Babes, the Stately Ladies, the Black-Eyed Susans, the Tigerettes, the Crimson Courters (Bear’s Angels eventually became the ‘Bama Belles) and recruit heavily from the school’s sororities. (Those ladies are very big into public relations!)”

“And the second truth is that if they work for another school besides the one you attend, then they are all wh****. (Your girls, on the other hand, are wonderful, fresh-faced ambassadors for goodness and chastity.) No one is ever told to have sex with a recruit or get him drunk or promise him that ménage à trois is basically a freshman seminar, but when a bunch of attractive horny college-age kids get together with a pony keg, nature will run its course. It doesn’t take much for a recruit to fall in love with his host and, by extension, her school.”

Whether accurate or not, the perception is that these young women are being used to tempt high school athletes. I’m completely grossed out by the idea of this father and his young son having a hostess flirt with them suggestively when they are supposed to be on a college tour. Even if most of the hostesses follow the rules and don’t do anything unseemly, who wants to be associated with the perception that these programs simply provide eye candy for young male athletes?

So what do you think: Would you let your daughter be a “recruitment hostess?” Would you be concerned about what she was being asked or  not asked to do? Should these programs remain intact? How can hostess programs be changed to put to rest the perception of trying to seduce players into coming to a school?

163 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2009
7:32 am

As some may have read, in my post last night, my daughter found out on Friday that she has been accepted to UGA. Yes, I am proud of her.

I NEVER in my wildest dreams would imagine that she would ever want to do this, nor would she even be asked to participate during her college years.

She is a cute girl with a nice figure, from her father’s side of the family. She is also reserved and has never been a flaunting type. She has lots of friends and enjoys socializing but in a low key, let’s go to a movie or to the mall way. She went ice skating with her church friends this weekend and had a blast. I KNOW she has never been to a party that is even remotely wild, She is very careful about who she associates with and where they go.

I do not know much about recruitment as I am not a fan of football…I know it is unthinkable.

Really, how is this any different from the hostesses at Las Vegas…with the exception of the fact that the “men” heading to college, are underage and certainly the ladies are wearing more clothes. BUT we do use attractive girls for cheerleaders…do we not and testosterone abounds on the sports fields.

Perhaps, since I have always adhered to ” brains before beauty” this is not a question for me.
I personally have never been inclined towards beauty pageants as I often wonder ( besides self esteem or a scholarship) what do the participants gain that lasts their entire life? I know some will be happy to fill me in and that is great!

I got a kick out of this quote:

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless, peacocks and lilies for instance.
- John Ruskin

motherjanegoose

December 15th, 2009
7:38 am

My comment evaporated Theresa….

I_Run_Barefoot

December 15th, 2009
7:48 am

No better reason to make sure your young athlete is sexually experienced BEFORE he goes to college. Ho hum, nothing to see here, move along…

Just kidding. Of course I wouldn’t want my daughter (I don’t have a daughter) to be a recruitment hostess. And of course I would accompany my son (who is a talented athlete) to any tour of any potential university.

Of course, once my daughter went to college I only have control over her if she’s still dipping into my pocket. My parents were well off enough to play this strategy with me and, while I don’t have a daughter, I could afford to do it, too. My parents gave me a fairly significant stipend ($750 a month, back in the early 90s) and if I did anything to piss them off that would go away.

As for the programs remaining intact…sure. As long as no laws are being broken. Everyone being of the age of consent then okay. Perhaps encouraging these women to attend some public health seminars (ie, safe sex ed) and making free condom available would be a good idea (like they do in bars in Africa).

As for putting to rest the perception of seduction…why not just know it for what it is and be prepared. ?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 15th, 2009
8:04 am

dug it out mjg! i left you a message on the post late last night.

Jeff

December 15th, 2009
8:08 am

Where to even begin. No I don’t want my daughter to be one (yes I have one). But with the permissiveness of society, it doesn’t surprise me. MILFs, homemade vidoes, oral sex doesn’t count, moms with low rider jeans, exposed tattoos and implants, Real Housewives, fewer and fewer influencial dads encouraged to be around, why would a young girl/woman think this could be anything to be ashamed of?

Photius

December 15th, 2009
8:13 am

1. Add a fourth: You should not want to hear your daughter say, “Mom, I want to be a financial banker on Wall Street”
2. Send your child to a college known for thier academics rather than football program. UGA in it’s entire 200+ year history has never produced one Nobel laureate but boy they can sure score touch downs… Send your daughter perhaps to one of the Seven Sister colleges instead and you won’t have to worry.

SouthFultonMom

December 15th, 2009
8:18 am

I am familiar with these programs and I would not want my daughter to be a part of it at all. She gets enough attention in jeans and a t-shirt! She’s pretty grounded and probably wouldn’t dare be a part of something like that anyway. She tends to march to the beat of her own drum…which I encourage.

Kathy

December 15th, 2009
8:19 am

@ Photius…..here’s another one…”Mom, I was one of the girls in Tiger Woods’ little black book”

---

December 15th, 2009
8:36 am

I read this blog, but usually do not respond. However, this was such a strange line of questioning to me, I felt I should. I was a “Georgia Girl” back in the early nineties and never saw any of this behavior occur. It was all girls with the “girl next door” look who were selected. All we did were meet the recruits and their families for lunch/brunch and then take them over to the game. The boys were always so intent on watching the game-we barely spoke! I usually spent the game chatting with the mothers, anwering questions about campus life, etc. We were certainly not “groomed”-we dressed appropriately in nice dresses or skirts. It was actually quite an honor to be a representative of the school. I also had friends whe were “Bama Belles” and the same whent for them-nice girls, etc. I just hate when people make sweeping generalizations about things in which they were not personally involved. Of course, these programs may have changed through the years and it certainly sounds like UT has some issues.

---

December 15th, 2009
8:37 am

Please excuse my typing errors-I had a three year old hanging off my back when I typed my post!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 15th, 2009
8:42 am

I am so glad you responded and gave us insight! That is a good thing! Keep checking in you may be able to answer questions other people have.

FCM

December 15th, 2009
8:49 am

I would have to look into the program at the particular school. I am not sure how different this is than my child waiting tables at Hooters (no I do not believe I would find issue with that), being a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, or a Victoria Seceret model.

I agree with Jeff that today things are too permissive. We have CHILDREN having a oral in a classroom — with the substitute and other people present. Excuse my language but WTF???!!!

I am also curious how people felt about the verdict last week with the consenting minor and her teacher. Theresa do you plan to discuss that?

A

December 15th, 2009
8:51 am

So glad I have a boy. If parents of boys would teach them to respect girls/women while they still live at home, and if parents of girls would make sure they have high self-esteem, I think we wouldn’t have half the issues we see when they get to college where all bets are off.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 15th, 2009
9:02 am

FCM — get schooled did it so I didn’t plan to do it — check out Maureen’s post on it from last week — I didn’t want to duplicate.

C. M. Thornton, III

December 15th, 2009
9:08 am

One man’s princess is another man’s little love slave. What do you think your daughter’s have been doing way before they got to college anyway?

DF

December 15th, 2009
9:11 am

Yes, the Georgia girls are honest and by the book. UT and Kiffin on the other hand hire prostitute, stripper, and porn star types to handle their business. See the photos and read some of the news articles about Lacey Pearl Earps. This girl is a walking STD.

Barney Strickland

December 15th, 2009
9:11 am

While I was at UGA …….We all knew the “Georgia Girls” were a bunch of sluts who’s job was to seduce recruits and get them to commit to UGA. ’nuff said? I had a neighbor who bedded 3 different recruits in a month !! Anyone who claims otherwise is delusional !! They were all so HOT !! Back then, with my libido @ 20 years old and my hormones racing..I would have loved the attention these football recruits got !!

Rich

December 15th, 2009
9:11 am

Doesn’t most schools (not Tech, lack of women) have these hostesses? UGA did at one point, they did not travel (I think), but they were there on recruiting weekends. Why is this an issue?

H

December 15th, 2009
9:14 am

I would not want my daughter to do this. I think it’s kind of trashy first of all. But more importantly, given all of the academic, extracurricular, social activities available at UGA, I would really wonder why someone would want to do this particular activity. There are tons of ways to get involved with the athletic department and admissions office. At best (giving the hostesses the benefit of the doubt to the extreme), the hostesses get dressed up and hang out with players/families. At worst, who knows? Someone who is bright, social, intelligent and wants to help the university has so many better options–it would concern me if of all those things, my daughter chose to be eye-candy/flight attendant without the flight.

TIGER

December 15th, 2009
9:19 am

Saw the photo of the two chicks trying to recruit two brothers.
Noticed one of the hostesses was a blonde.
Where did you get this idea?
Tiger

Gary McCorvey

December 15th, 2009
9:19 am

Uh, wake up and smell the coffee, America. YEARS AGO, I commented to my wife about the UGA coeds who were escorting the recruits down the aisle to the field on a tv game. Oh, by the way, have you ever wondered why now the “waterboys” are “watergirls” at most major schools___at least it looks that way on tv__the coed/trainers running around with the water bottles or consoling a fallen warrior on the field until the real help arrives. But morality doesn’t matter___winning is the only important thing, and besides that, it is somebody else’s daughter, right?

Old Dawg

December 15th, 2009
9:21 am

When I toured college campuses back in the middle ages, a member of the school’s admissions department was always our host or hostess. I understand having students perform the task because they can better relate to high school students and provide real life answers to them and their parents. But the way schools are tilting the bar for athletes is beyond misleading and unethical.

If parents and high school coaches are complaining about the abuses at summer camps, something has obviously gone wrong. I’m sure UT isn’t the only school doing this at summer camps, but I’ve attended high school games all of my life, including games with players being recruited by Div I programs, and I’ve never seen anything like this.

UT may not deserve to have a secondary infraction; however, the rules need to be updated so this doesn’t happen again.

Peadawg

December 15th, 2009
9:24 am

This is like not wanting your daughter to be a cheerleader…there isn’t much difference.

Bamagrad

December 15th, 2009
9:26 am

The Bama Belles I knew in the late 80s were actually plain looking, they were smart and most were sorority girls. I’m sure there were a few sluts in the bunch, but they weren’t the prettiest girls on campus. Alabama no longer has Bama Belles, but uses guys and girls as hostesses.

Not mad at them

December 15th, 2009
9:26 am

Well, it does happen and I think its more than slutty/whorish. However, look at the bright side. If one of these young girls can keep the guy’s eye and they get married and he makes the NFL, they’ve hit the lotto! Who could be mad at that??? But yes, it is slutty/whorish (for those of them that do have sex w/the recruits…and some do).

Jock Lee

December 15th, 2009
9:28 am

I was a college football player back in the ’90’s (not at UGA) and the hostesses definitely made an impact on where I attended school. Those girls are there for one reason, and one reason only! To do whatever it takes to get that athlete to sign with their school. One of my wildest memories is at a party (while in high school) with a couple of hostesses!! Good times!!

MC

December 15th, 2009
9:28 am

I as well typically do not respond to threads such as this either but I wanted to give a different thought to this given the fact that I just finished college within the last 5 years and do not have a child myself. Reading the story I was shocked and embarassed for UT to have an individual represent their school in the manner in which she did. I agree with the comment from — earlier. One individual has probably made a poor decision in which other females in that group might have viewed it as acceptable for whatever thought they might (I personally do not know how you justify it). UT in turn is causing posts like this to become generalizations of all university programs such as this when it is likely that most of these organizations are ambassadors of the school.

As for whenever I decide to have kids if would I allow my daughter to be an ambassador, yes I would. I was the daughter who worked at Hooters and a rather provocative bar while being in college and although that decision might not have thrilled my parents at the time I was a full-time student, a full-time collegiate athlete, and worked 40 hours a week all while maintaining a 3.0 GPA and being self-sufficient without my parents help. I think the extracurricular activities or jobs you hold while in college allow you to learn about how you would like to be perceived as a individual and the manner in which you should conduct yourself as an adult. Like I stated before, my parents while probably not thrilled at the decision at the time share the same thought that I do which is that these jobs that many have criticized girls for having was one of my better choices that I made in my collegiate career. I watch my friends who in turn live at home after college or lack a job and are now reliant on their parents. Myself while working at those questionable jobs provided me with a sense of responsibility and self-reliance.

I would be quick to judge all of these organizations within these Universities because when an accurate cross-section across the United States is taken I am sure numerous of these individuals did nothing as the above mentioned story outlines and I am sure many of these daughters have gone on to be very prominent independent women.

Lane Kiffin

December 15th, 2009
9:28 am

Thank you for so much free publicity. The whole thing is BS and most of you know it. This just helps keep UT in the headlines and that works for me. I guess the “Old SEC Guard” is weary and a little scared of what I am doing in Knoxville. Rocky Top Tennessee!!!! By the way Theresa….they are doing wonderful things with lip-reduction surgery these days.

DC Dawg

December 15th, 2009
9:31 am

I absolutely would not approve of my daughters (I have 2) being a “hostess”. This situation works both ways. The university is selling sex to lure recruits and recruits expect it. My wife was briefly a Georgia Girl back in the 80’s and was told point blank by a recruit that if she didn’t have sex with him that he’d sign elsewhere. She refused and promptly quit being a Georgia Girl (I don’t think she knew what she was getting into). No idea if he ever came to UGA. But my point is that, while high school players may state in public their dismay or disapproval of this activity, many expect to see these young women and expect sex as part of the package. And, unfortunaley, if your university doesn’t have female hostesses, you are at a recruiting disadvantage.

Better that the NCAA outlaw this activity all together.

REAL INFORMATION

December 15th, 2009
9:31 am

wow- be cafeful what you say, you are talking about somebody’s little girl. Oh yea, NEVER in a million years.

R

December 15th, 2009
9:31 am

mothergoose, I have news for you…your “reserved” daughter, the second you and her dad are gone, will go nuts, flash the twins downtown, get illegal alcohol and pretty much go wild. Sad to say, but it happens. But hey! As long as she keeps HOPE, it’s all good right?

Devildog

December 15th, 2009
9:36 am

Oh, ye nabobs of negativity. Why not think of the positive aspects:
–Your daughter will leave Tennessee with a degree in Escort Services.
–Or businesswoman (as they call it in Japan).

Tracy P

December 15th, 2009
9:37 am

I was a Tiger Hostess (Missouri Tigers) and yeah there were some girls who took the job way to serious and enjoyed the flirting and then others like myself enjoyed the free meals, the chance to sit in the bigtime press box and enjoyed getting into every night club free! Every Hostess wasn’t into giving perks or freakin the recruits! I was able to recruit guys from my local area (St. Louis) and I didn’t have to sleep with them. Please remember some girls are “slutty” regardless of the job they have.

J

December 15th, 2009
9:38 am

Gold Diggers have to get educated too.

Tee

December 15th, 2009
9:40 am

I worked for an athletic program in the SEC as an undergrad and I can tell you that some of these girls are willing to do anything( use your imagination)to help ensure these recruits have a pleasurable recruiting visit. I wouldn’t say all of them are like that but I would hear the players talk about which ones they had encounters with. And the same girls would be there readily for 2, 3 4 years. Personally I believe the issues lie with the insecurity of these girls and the willingness to be accepted by the most popular crowd on campus.

Times change....

December 15th, 2009
9:43 am

To the GA hostess from the early nineties, I whole heartedly believe that when you were hosting that things were different. Glad to hear you stand up for the program and be proud of your part in it.
My take on all of this is that this is a sign of changing times. The early nineties seems like centuries ago in terms of acceptable behavior. With the advent of salacious reality TV, “enhancement” commercials, 24/7 sexual content in a variety of forms, and an out of whack moral compass for society as a whole it is not surprising that these kinds of hostessing programs would change with the times.
I have a 2 year old daughter and I lie awake at times worrying about what things will be like when she is ready to head out on her own. I do my best to be a strong, fair, compassionate father and just pray that she will ready for what the world has waiting for her. Maybe by then the 3 choices at the top will have fallen by the wayside.

Carolyn

December 15th, 2009
9:43 am

I would hope that my daughter would have enough self-esteem and confidence culled from her own talents (be they academic, athletic, musical, artistic, etc) to know that she is so much more than her face, her body and her looks, and would be morally opposed to such a sexist practice as this.
The fact that “recruiting hostesses” programs are still in force in this day and age is shameful. If the purpose is to recruit football players, why not have other football players–active and alums–recruiting? They’re in a much better position to describe the features and benefits of playing ball.
So, if she asked my permission–it’d be a big fat NO!

Dr. Phil

December 15th, 2009
9:43 am

The sad thing about this whole matter is, the photos of the two females have been published worldwide in a negative context that students likely didn’t consider when they became Kiffin’s recruiting agents. This may be ok with them, or it may be something that they regret for a long time. Before Kiffin sends young people out to do his bidding, he should consider the potential effect on their academic and personal lives and the lives of their parents and relatives.

Christy

December 15th, 2009
9:44 am

What upsets me is that UT would allow it’s female students to be used like this. Shouldn’t they be teaching them to be productive members of society and role models for young girls instead of essentially whoring them out so they can have a winning football team. Shows you where UT’s priorities are.

atlvol55

December 15th, 2009
9:44 am

Right or wrong this has been going on for years at every school. The New York Times two “so called journalists” and I use that term very loosely are on an absolute witch hunt against Tennessee. Bottom line is both of the journalist are Syracuse grads who also happen to be very friendly with Urban Meyer at Florida. Half of the things they have been reporting and been proven to be false but they continue to spit this garbage. It just shows how low journalism and the New York Slimes has fallen too

Jqueen

December 15th, 2009
9:45 am

I agree with —-. I too was a GA Girl in the 90’s and I never saw any foolishness occur. My experience was very positive and I was treated very well by the school. To label one group, as sluts, across the board is grossly unfair, especially when top boosters at schools nationwide literally ‘prostitute’ their own daughters to “take care of” athletes already on the team–but especially the recruits.

Honestly, in my time and even now, don’t be blind to the fact that there are many girls/guys who participate in these programs and are not angels–and it may be your daughter/son. If you want to keep turning over stones, throw some shade on the sorority/fraternity parties, and you’ll see that the hostess/host program is chaste in comparison.

However, there are plenty of people who have been a part of these programs, such as myself, who have had great experiences! I loved being a Georgia Girl and was proud of the fact that I told recruits and their family the truth. I was genunine in my pride for my school, but I also cared about the recruit being happy and making the decision that was best for him.

Anyway, if you have never been a part of it yourself, you’re not qualified to throw stones across the board or even judge the UT situation w/o knowing the persons involved. For those who have college-age daughters, whether they’re involved in the program or not, they will be involved with something and exposed to many things on the college campus. Parents, it is your responsibility to teach your children values, esteem, boundaries, and how to take care of themselves, because when they go to college they are away from you and you have to trust and believe they’re making good choices.

IRISH25

December 15th, 2009
9:48 am

Enter your comments here

Wake Up

December 15th, 2009
9:50 am

I am no fan of any SEC team, but I can absolutely guarantee you that every team in the league uses their “hostesses” the same way UT does. There are lots of negative comments from UGA fans (what else is new?), but if they think this practice is so bad why don’t they pressure their saintly coach to put a stop to it. It won’t happen, because you need the hostesses to attract the thug element these schools go after. Incidentally, I don’t believe there have been any critical comments from any other SEC coach. Could that be because they don’t want their practices put under the spotlight like UT?

Matt

December 15th, 2009
9:50 am

This self righteous act is absurd. Especially from any SEC graduate or fan. Theresa was once 17 too, and I guess she is concerned her daughter is going to do the same things she did in college that she regrets. If you are a senior in high school, if you are about to go to a major university next year or minor for that matter, let me tell you, as soon as the parents go away the partying starts and never stops. THERE IS ALWAYS A PARTY TO GO TO. As long as you can stop enough to study and get some sleep you will be fine. I graduated from the University of Tennessee and I am VERY proud of my university and the times I had there. I had a lot of fun and I learned a lot. I know once my daughter becomes that age she will probably follow in my footsteps in an SEC school. She is a great student who is currently in the gifted program and has a lot to look forward too. I trust her to know enough not to put herself in a bad situation or to get out of it if she does. Theresa, do you trust yours?

jan

December 15th, 2009
9:52 am

It seems to me that women that would never be chosen to be a ga girl or a bama belle are usually the ones that yell the loudest about it being wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a representative of the school if it is handled correctly. This is life ladies. The pretty girls and the sports talented boys get the perks in college. If you think any differently, then bless your heart.
It’s like the other response said, the high school boy and dad can’t wait to see the game and be on the field so who entertains mom – that’s what the girls are do.

JOE N.

December 15th, 2009
9:54 am

Remember my article years ago with Playboy about
the hostesses at Bama when I was quarterback.
I think my total back then was about 134, best I can remember.
Course, that was back then, and the total has climbed.

Monroe Burbank

December 15th, 2009
9:55 am

@Rich: Tech has lots of women, just not too many stupid ones.

Also, it’s not “Doesn’t most schools…”, it’s “Don’t most schools…”. Obviously Rich didn’t go to Tech.

Bill

December 15th, 2009
9:55 am

I think UT has taken this HOstess thing to a new level and you better believe Lame knows what is going on.

Hostess Me

December 15th, 2009
10:00 am

These UT hostesses are pretty hot—I would commit to them.

Joe PhD

December 15th, 2009
10:01 am

First of all, there is nothing to prove that the young ladies in question did anything more than visit a high school game (200 miles away), rub breasts against a possible future millionaire, take pictures, etc. There is nothing to suggest that any sexual activity has occurred. No, I am not naive to think that it has never happened at UT, UGA, UF, ‘Bama, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Michigan, USC, UNLV, Missouri, and every other major athletic department in the country. However, these SPECIFIC 2-3 young ladies are being raked over the coals without a shred of evidence that they did anything more than flirt and savor the ‘good life’ of the athletic department.

And to those of you who suggest that such behavior did not happen in GA in the 90’s, I know for a fact that it did in the 80’s, 90’s, and today — just not every Georgia Girl nor every recruit and certainly not with the implicit or explicit sponsorship of the university.