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THE FALL ROUNDUP
Alexander Wolff
August 31, 1987
PERSUASIVE HOSTESSES HELP COLLEGES LASSO TOP PROSPECTS
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August 31, 1987

The Fall Roundup

PERSUASIVE HOSTESSES HELP COLLEGES LASSO TOP PROSPECTS

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What do they wear?

Depends. Iowa State's Recruiting Aides have classy cardinal-and-gold rugby shirts. The Gator Getters go with that lightweight look, to deal with the 100-plus temperatures on the turf at a typical home game. The Stately Ladies, like many groups, have forsaken uniforms altogether. "You know how girls are," says Bobby Purcell of N.C. State. "If two of them showed up in the same outfit, both would go home and change."

Whom will I get?

Someone the school feels confident you'll relate to. It may be through a shared hometown, high school, academic interest or ethnic background. These days, black hostesses are in great demand, especially at Southeastern Conference schools, where the flavor of the Old South still lingers in the mostly white houses along sorority row, but where blacks have begun to dominate the skill positions on Saturday afternoons. Soon after Alabama integrated its football team in 1970, the Bama Belles followed suit to stay competitive.

Is she my date?

No. At least, not officially. Some schools are adamant on this point. "Tigerettes are never left alone with a prospect," says Auburn's Locklar. The Crimson-n-Cream have similar instructions. Says C-n-C Kim Dwyer, "When coach [Barry] Switzer says he's your dad, and talks about the family atmosphere, you're not going to go do something that makes your dad mad."

But we're dealing here with virile young male specimens on the one hand and on the other with an assortment of women who don't as a rule look like traffic accidents. "If they think a guy is cute, I tell them to wait till he enrolls on campus," says Dick Baird, who directs the Husky Hostesses. "But some dating goes on. It's a private business."

What about those stories I've heard?

You mean the stories you'll probably end up spreading? "For whatever reason, a lot of these groups don't have a good reputation," says Grider. "I don't know why. Those who aren't selected may say, 'Oh, they just sleep with football players.' And it's probably a macho thing for 17-year-old guys to go back to their high schools and talk."

A report in April—since exposed as a hoax—of Southern Methodist coeds' being paid to supply recruits with sexual favors probably didn't help. In fact, SMU is one of only three Southwest Conference schools without an official hostess group.

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