Recruiting, As A Science
Anyone who has ever followed college sports recruiting knows that the title above is about as ridiculous a statement as could be made about the process. Recruiting is anything but a science and I guess it could be more accurately described as an art form rather than anything that comes close to being called science.
Recruiting has changed appreciably in the time I have been following sports and I wish I could say that it has been for the better. I can't quite bring myself to say that. While some of the rules enacted by the NCAA have solved some of the problems, new ones have appeared and, quite frankly, I don't know how anybody is going to to deal with some of the new ones.
The one that has caught my attention lately is the practice of using "recruiting assistants" from the student body in several aspects of the recruiting process. These students, usually females, perform such duties as escorting the prospect and his/her family around the campus on the day the recruit visits, writing letters of encouragement for the recruit to consider their school, writing letters complimenting recruits on their high school athletic performances and assisting the coaching staffs with clinics, etc. Nothing wrong so far.
However, recent newspaper accounts of activities associated with recruiting by the recruiting assistants indicate that, at some schools, the assistants go beyond the duties I have listed. Yes, I'm talking about sex.
I wondered why some message board posters were so concerned about one of our linebacker prospects visiting Arizona State when he said we were his leader. I soon found out. An article I have read quoted two current unnamed recruiting assistants at AS as saying that sex between prospects and recruits "was common." That explains why the posters referred to above had said that the best defense for this kind of thing was for us to try and have the prospect take his girl friend on the recruiting trip with him. Needless to say. we lost the prospect to Arizona State.
Lest you think the Arizona State thing is an isolated occurrence, let me refer to two Oregon State assistants who said the same thing. The strippers party for recruits at Alabama was a little different but close enough to mention. The NCAA didn't view this as being detached from the University and I have to wonder if Carl Torbush was aware that this kind of thing was going on since it was thought that he was a very moral and upright person. How does the old saying go. "If you didn't know, then you should have."
Many years ago I had a friend who had been an assistant football coach at Florida State. Not the Florida State we know today but the Florida State that played in a 35,000 seat stadium and had difficulty scheduling major colleges in football. Naively, I asked him if the coaching staff set the prospects up with girls who would show the recruit a good time. I didn't want to come right out with it and looking back on it, I must have sounded like a buffoon. It was before I was introduced to the concept of "deniability." His answer indicated that there were no guarantees but they usually utilized the girls who had a reputation for being good entertainers. As dumb as I was then, I got the message.
Which brings us to the core of this subject. How many schools utilize recruiting assistants? I hate to tell you but every school in the ACC and the SEC use them with the exception of one school, the University of Kentucky.
Many schools have become sensitive to the name of these organizations and have changed their names in recent years. History records that the first such group was formed at Alabama in the early 60s and were called "Bear's Babes." They are now called "Bama Belles."
You might be interested in seeing some details of these organizations for the various schools in the ACC and SEC. This appears to be primarily a "Southern" thing because schools such as Notre Dame, Boston College and Brigham Young do not have these groups. Of course, the schools mentioned are all religious schools but we have Wake and Duke in our territory.
School-Clemson Current Name-Tiger Paws Former Name-Bengal Babes Number of Females- 54 Number of Males- 0
School-Duke Current Name- Blue Angels Former Name- None Number of Females-20 Number of Males- 0
School-Fla. State Current Name- Garnet and Gold Girls Former Name- None Number of Females-58 Number of Males- 0
School- Georgia Tech Current Name-Solid Gold Former Name-None Number of Females- 40 Number of Males- 0
School-Maryland Current Name-Black Eyed Susans Former Name-Terrapin Recruiters Number of Females-23 Number of Males- 2
Note: this one bothers me somewhat. Much of the information for this article I based on an article that appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution and their article did not explain whether dark eyes is a requirement and whether the male members were also referred to as Susans. I'm not going to touch the one that might have males referred to as "Susans" and what their duties might be.
School-N.C. State Current Name- Stately Ladies Former Name- None Number of Females- 30 Number of Males- 0
School- North Carolina Current Name- Carolina Blues Former Name- Sweet Carolines Number of Females- 60 Number of Males- 0
School-Wake Forest Current Name-Recruiting Assistants Former Name- None Number of Females- 10 Number of Males- 2
School-Virginia Current Name- Cavalier Connection Former Name- None Number of Females- 25 Number of Males- 5
School-Alabama Current Name- Bama Belles Former Name- Bear's Babes Number of Females- 95 Number of Males- 0
School- Arkansas Current Name- Razorback Belles Former Name- None Number of Females- 68 Number of Males- 0
School- Auburn Current Name- Tigerettes and Tiger Hosts Former Name- None Number of Females- 80 Number of Males- 20
School- Florida Current Name-Gator Guides Former Name- Gator Getters Number of Females-65 Number of Males-0
School-Kentucky No acknowledged program. We have a couple of transfers from Ky. I think I will try and talk with them to see if this is accurate.
School-Georgia Current Name-Georgia Girls Former Name-None Number of Females-80 Number of Males- 0
School- L.S.U. Current Name- Tiger Pride Former Name- None Number of Females- 95 Number of Males- 5
School- Mississippi Current Name- Recruiters Former Name-None Number of Females- 70 Number of Males- 0
School- Mississippi State Current Name-Bulldog Belles Former Name- None Number of Females- 65 Number of Males- 0
School- South Carolina Current Name-Carolina Classics Former Name- None Number of Females-45 Number of Males- 0
School-Tennessee Current Name- Vol Hostesses Former Name-None Number of Females-48 Number of Males-0
School- Vanderbilt Current Name- Gold Stars Former Name- None Number of Females-26 Number of Males- 0