OK, Iâm not young and hip, as much as it pains me to admit it.Â One could correctly label me old and old fashioned.Â However, I cannot believe that parents of teenaged girls everywhere are not shaking their heads atÂ the lengths to which major college football programs are going in order to recruit âstar athletes.â
The latest example:Â National ChampionÂ Auburn, according to Sports by Brooks, who audited public records,Â paid 21 coeds, whom they term Tigerettes, $78,044.26 between Oct. 2, 2009, and May 31, 2011 for showing prospective football recruits around campus.Â One Tigerette, a senior public relations major, earned nearly $13,000 for her hostess work since March, 2010.Â Now, I will admit I am a supporter of another SEC school; you could call me a âhomerâ and not be wrong.Â I break out in â:hivesâÂ at the thought ofÂ Auburnâs âItâs a God Thing.â Â And, I know that most major football programsÂ make use of attractive co-ed hostesses to show prospective sports recruits around the campus.Â But,Â schools also use students to show academic prospects around campus/Â I seriously doubt thoseÂ hosts and hostesses are getting paid thousands of dollars to act as tour guides.
In 2004, three University of Colorado coeds alleged that they were raped by football recruits and/orÂ players in 2001. In 2005, it cost head coach Gary Barnett his job (although one wonders if he would have been given a contract extension instead of a pink slip had he just beat Texas.)
Then, in 2009, the New York Times broke the story that Tennessee was using pretty coeds whom they dubbed âOrange Prideâ to help in its football recruiting.Â In one case that hits particularly close to home, Vol hostesses allegedly traveled nearly 200 miles to attend a high school game in South Carolina in which at least three Tennessee recruits were playing. Marcus Lattimore told the Times that multipleÂ Tennessee hostesses attended his game at James F. Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C, and thatÂ they brought signs, including one that read, “Come to Tennessee.”Â Tennessee disbanded âOrange Pride,â but this year, the NCAA accused Tennessee, along with Lane Kiffen, its one-year wonder of a coach who is now at USC, of violationsÂ that included recruiting.
Perhaps big-time college football has always had its unseemly side, but this use ofÂ college coeds seems to me to be over the top.