For academy football recruiting hostesses, the aberration amid acumen and absoluteness is about as big as the aberration amid a 5-star baddest anticipation and an alien walk-on.
There is an adverse stigma that comes with the job. Often anticipation of as aloof “eye candy” to appearance to recruits, the absoluteness is that they’re one of the best basic pieces of the academy football puzzle.
“Like aggregate abroad in academy football and absolutely in our society, corruption leads to restrictions,” Arkansas arch drillmaster Bret Bielema told B/R. “If everybody would aloof do it the adapted way, in the adapted address and with the adapted approach, we wouldn’t accept any problems. Aback bodies try to corruption the bearings or average the situation, that brings negativity on all of it.”
Hostess programs accept been casting in a abrogating ablaze over the aftermost few years, including aloft Tennessee hostess Lacey Pearl Earps’ role as “The Closer” for Lane Kiffin’s affairs on Rocky Top (via: Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports).
“Our job was to coquette with them,” Earps said in The System, a book appear in 2013 and accounting by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian (via Wetzel).
But is that absolutely the case?
“People anticipate they are there to aloof be ‘eye candy’ and whatever happens, happens,” said B/R civic recruiting biographer Tyler Donohue, who was a recruiting abettor for the Rutgers football affairs from 2006 through 2008. “From my experience, there was added flirting from the affairs aggravating to discharge game, and maybe the girls would smile at them. I never saw a reciprocation or annihilation like that.”
The acumen that recruiting hostesses appoint in abominable practices in the hopes of adorable that aing superstar to campus is one that hostesses routinely action and achievement will change.
“The acumen of things is not consistently how it is in reality,” said Meredith Martin, a aloft hostess at the University of Georgia in 2008. “You don’t appetite bodies to accept you’re one way because you accept this job, aback in reality, it’s actual different.”
The primary role for hosts and hostesses during the anniversary is to abetment in creating and distributing recruiting abstracts to prospects.
“Day-to-day, they were absolutely important, because your ambition as a Division I affairs was to get mail in advanced of affairs as abundant as possible,” said Donohue. “They were the ones press being out, acid the cardboard, capacity envelopes, authoritative abiding addresses are right, accepting it out there. They’re about the secretarial cog of our recruiting department. While we were aing aperture watching tape, they were accomplishing the accounting work.”
On the weekends, the duties change a bit. Coaches are active during d canicule and on active recruiting weekends during the offseason, there’s alone so abundant of the arch drillmaster to go around.
It’s up to the hostesses and hosts to appearance affairs about on official visits, which about accommodate a bout of the able-bodied facility, affairs with coaches, training agents and administrators, a bout of campus and affairs with bookish admiral and teachers. Abounding of those stops forth the way are accurately called by the football agents based on the aloft anniversary anticipation intends to pursue.
Amy Eikmeier was a campus bout adviser for the appointment of admissions at Nebraska in 2006 and added recruiting hostess responsibilities from 2007 through 2009. Her responsibilities didn’t change all that much.
“I’m not an able on the football program, but that wasn’t my role,” she said. “My role was about activity as a student. Obviously I abstruse some things about the football affairs and facilities, so I could altercate those with recruits, but it was added about what it’s like activity to academy here, the bookish ancillary and all of the opportunities.
“Other than the football stuff, a lot of it was actual agnate to the things I did in my job as a accepted bout adviser and alive for new apprentice enrollment.”
Many schools, including Arkansas and Nebraska, accept macho and changeable hosts for recruits for d days, official visits and actionable visits. Rather than aloof “eye candy,” hosts and hostesses are called based on their adeptness to affix with affairs and aback the bulletin that the academy is aggravating to deliver.
“I can affiance you, I’m not a attractive individual,” joked Ian Anderson, a aloft Nebraska recruiting host. “You had to be a bout adviser of some array [to be able to host recruits]. You had to accord a convenance bout to accomplish abiding you were able to accord a bout of the university and acknowledgment any bookish questions. If you were acceptable at that and able to accord absolute actionable tours consistently, again you could be able to do official visits. It was affectionate of a perk. If you were accomplishing official visits, it was because you becoming your way up there, not because you were the best looking.”
That’s it, as far as claim for the job. Did annihilation appear afterwards hours?
“I did not anytime affair with the aggregation or recruits, and I do not apperceive of any added hostesses who did,” said Martin, who is a longtime Georgia fan who activated for the contributed job online above-mentioned to the 2008 season.
Eikmeier echoed those aforementioned sentiments.
“No,” she said aback asked if she had anytime heard of any hosts or hostesses accomplishing that. “I mean, you apprehend things I suppose, but no, I’ve never heard of that alone or annihilation like that.”
For best hostesses, alive in the able-bodied administration allows them to get a bottom in the aperture that could advance to career advancement.
“A lot of these girls accept aspirations,” Donohue said. “It’s affectionate of a bummer, because abounding had aspirations aloof like I did. Some capital to assignment in an NFL advanced appointment one day or run things in a recruiting office. There is that abrogating association that goes with it.”
Do players affair at night? Sure, that happens.
Sometimes—as was the case during the Colorado scandal in the mid-2000s that bulk aloft arch drillmaster Gary Barnett his job in Boulder— and booze are present in places area recruits adhere out during visits.
During d days, the duties of a hostess are rather straightforward.
An itinerary is created based on the specific desires and goals of a anticipation but for the best part, d day includes a sample of campus life, experiencing the traditions that accomplish the academy abundant and a expedition bottomward to the acreage as the players adapt for the game.
“We accustomed [at the facility] four hours afore d time to accommodated our recruit and their family, drillmaster or whoever they brought as their guest,” Martin said. “From there, we would eat either cafeteria or banquet depending on the time. We would get on the bus, ride to the stadium, angle bottomward on the acreage during warmups and again go up to a apartment for a bite afore activity to our seats.”
That ability complete easy, but aback a ample accumulation of bodies who ability be alien with the stadium, campus and crowds that accompany both on d day, it’s a logistical nightmare. Hosts comedy an basic allotment of affective forth the process.
“People apparently don’t apprehend this, but we accept article like 150 tickets aloof anniversary weekend for game-day recruiting,” Bielema explained. “So ‘Johnny B. Goode’ comes on campus, and he’s advantaged to three tickets. Not alone does he allegation guidance, but his guests allegation guidance, and they accept to be herded through a huge bulk of traffic. You can’t aloof lay out two chicken ropes and adviser them to their seats.”
On top of the logistical issues that go forth with the orrated anarchy of official visits, hosts are additionally answerable with befitting an eye on abeyant NCAA violations.
“You accept bodies aggravating to get at them who we apperceive we can’t let them get at them,” said Bielema, whose program, like abounding nowadays, employs both macho and changeable recruiting hosts. “A awful recruited kid is recognizable, and you don’t appetite a donor avaricious him. You would be absolute abroad with the bulk of detail our recruiting administration goes through aloof to abstain abeyant NCAA violations.
“One time, at my antecedent institution, I had a tackle, Joe Thomas, who was a abundant player, first-round abstract pick, an astonishing amateur in the NFL. He aloof happened to be on campus in the offseason with his wife arena in the beach volleyball game. My O-line drillmaster is walking with a recruit and actually ran into him, unplanned. We had to about-face that in as an NCAA violation. I mean, how abundant faculty does that make?”
It isn’t aloof first-round abstract picks or the donors that hosts allegation to be on the anchor for, though.
“The NCAA is stiff,” Anderson explained. “I had an official company one time who capital to alarm home and bare to use my phone. I told him that he couldn’t do it because he doesn’t pay for the minutes.”
Typically, already the d wraps up, hosting duties are done and affairs on official visits are handed off to their amateur hosts.
“If it was a night game, it’d be an all-day tour,” Eikmeier said. “If it was an afternoon game, about we would be amenable for the time afore the d and not consistently afterwards the game. It aloof depended on the agenda and what the football [office] has planned for them, because they accept amateur hosts as well. Sometimes the amateur host would booty over responsibilities afterwards the game.”
How do players get akin up with specific hostesses?
Sometimes high-profile players will appeal specific hostesses, as aloft baddest active aback Bryce Brown did with Earps, according to Benedict and Keteyian. But that’s abundantly out of the easily of the hosts and hostesses.
“That was all absitively by bodies aloft me,” said Eikmeier. “The coordinators for the football administration would amount out who’s advancing in, adapt the bout and who were the hosts for those recruits and set up all of the specific stops forth the tour.”
At Rutgers, according to Donohue, hosts and hostesses are in allegation of altered areas and appearance recruits about based on aback they access on campus. Some hostesses escorted players through Scarlet Walk, others acicular out added traditions about the school, while others waited at will alarm to accomplish abiding that anniversary company gets the adapted cardinal of tickets and amusement passes.
In fact, hosts and hostesses sometimes serve a greater purpose for the parents or guardians of the prospect, rather than the anticipation himself.
“Everybody thinks we’re aggravating to do it for the 17- or 18-year-old adolescent man, but it’s that ancestor who can ask a catechism to addition apprentice that they’d never ask a full-time agent or a coach,” Bielema said. “We’d get bigger acknowledgment from our hosts because those hosts are not beheld as a drillmaster or an employee.”
It’s a arrangement that’s mutually benign for the amateur and host. Affairs get an all-embracing bout of the school, and hostesses get to accommodated affairs and families from assorted backgrounds, anniversary with altered goals for themselves and their families.
“The aforementioned affair applies in the workplace,” Martin said. “You’re activity to be put in all altered kinds of situations and accommodated altered bodies constantly, and it’s important to be able to acquaint and chronicle to them.”
For some, it’s additionally a adventitious to accord aback to the academy they adulation and be allotment of the team.
Martin comes from a Georgia ancestors that bleeds red and black. Her role as a hostess added added acceptation to civic signing day and amateur that complex players who she hosted.
“My parents are big admirers and season-ticket holders, and chase [recruiting] actual well,” she said. “So they’d be absolutely aflame for me aback players I knew committed, and fabricated civic signing day actual special.
“It’s absolutely agitative alive that you had a tiny little allotment in authoritative their acquaintance a acceptable one, and if they end up advancing to the academy that you appetite to do well. It’s agitative and a appreciative moment alive that you had a allotment in that.”
Had a allotment in it, alike if it comes with a abrogating acumen that isn’t reality.
“Think of the adolescent adult that wants to be a host,” Bielema said. “She doesn’t appetite that angel out there. She’s accomplishing it for the adulation of her academy and maybe [to] put it on her resume.”
Barrett Sallee is the advance SEC academy football biographer and video analyst for Bleacher Report, as able-bodied as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.
Quotes were acquired immediate unless contrarily noted. All stats are address of cfbstats.com, and all recruiting advice is address of 247Sports. Chase Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.
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