For most, there isn't more than a group picture in the program, perhaps a trip to an away game and some p.r. experience that will come in handy down the road. The Bengal Babes can use Clemson's football tutoring program, and the Stately Ladies can cop Sudafed from the team doctor if they get a cold. "It's not a case of them getting stuff out of us for nothing," insists N.C. State's Kelly Stephenson. "When alumni come in to talk to senior players about jobs, coach [Dick] Sheridan makes them available to the Stately Ladies, too." But nothing quite matches the deal offered the Bama Belles, who receive $175 off tuition and fees per semester.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it has come to this. There is such a thing as a hostessing scholarship.
As long as players like Washington lineman Dennis Brown continue to attribute their college choice to a hostess (kudos to you, Husky Hostess Danielle Washburn), and until the NCAA figures out how to regulate eyelash-batting, schools will continue to field their hostesses. "It's a recruiting tool now, just like posters, only you can't send posters anymore," says Grider. "Or bringing in your old stud football players, only you can't use alumni anymore, either."
But no one will ever mute the color in the Gator Getters' electric-orange hats. Speaking of which: Betty, have you heard about the Garnet and Gold Girls' new outfits? Florida State alum Burt Reynolds is getting Loni Anderson's and Cybill Shepherd's Hollywood designer to do them up.
"Like I said," Betty Ling says, "we're not selling the Gator Getters; we're selling the University of Florida.
"But we just may have to get Mel Tillis to make us some cowboy boots."