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.

ACC

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

SEC

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