So I'll be bereft of female companionship during the evenings?
Not necessarily. For your official visit you'll have, in addition to your hostess, a player host. He's the man with the plan. He'll likely introduce you to a wide cross-section of young women, including those who won't necessarily be bound to the hostesses' code of conduct. "A guy lookin' for that, he can find it," says Bengal Babes coordinator Clyde Wrenn. "He doesn't need any help finding it."
What if I come to a game with my girlfriend?
That's cool. Most hostesses are very sensitive to your high school sweetheart's feeling out of sorts in the company of their sophisticated selves and will be particularly solicitous toward her so she doesn't feel threatened. Several groups have some men in their ranks for just such situations.
Men are an interesting addition to the hosting phenomenon, and a likely growth area. On many campuses, like Oklahoma's, groups must be chartered to admit men and women in order to receive sanction as a student activity. The name Crimson-n-Cream is appropriately dualistic, and director Carole Dollins won't be surprised or disappointed if, to prove a point, the gay student organization sends a man to try out.
So what exactly does she do?
A lot. For starters, she'll give you a tour of the campus. The best hostesses will seek out that middle ground between being engagingly well informed and irritatingly know-it-all. Patty McCarthy, a Sweet Caroline, is president of her sorority and sharp as a tack, and will make big bucks with one of the Big Eight accounting firms someday. She can tell you that North Carolina's new graduate library is the largest in the Southeast, but, her major notwithstanding, she can't tell you exactly how many volumes it holds. Don't ask.
Tours can be trouble enough. "You're looking up the whole day," says Georgia Girl Dana Pike. "By the end, your feet and neck are sore." And things don't always go smoothly. A Solid Gold hostess once got a prospect and his family, including his nine-year-old little brother, locked in an athletic building stairwell. "You're Solid Gold," said the tyke. "You're supposed to know what to do."
So try to be understanding. And try not to be a mute Neanderthal, even if that means misrepresenting yourself. "We had one huge guy who didn't say a word," says Tracy Ballin, coordinator of Arizona's recruiting aides. "Finally he said, 'Just call me Booger.' We were all a little afraid of Booger."
Are they going to report back to the coaches on me?