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NCAA changes rules on hostess programs

Published: Friday, September 3, 2004

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07


By Brandi Dunn

Since 1985, the mission statement for Aggie Hostesses (AH) has been, "recruiting the finest for the future of Aggie football." However, in early August, the NCAA put an end to such groups around the nation, according to Jeff Howard, managing director of public and media relations for the NCAA.

"The main point of this legislation is to ensure that these high school and junior college recruits get the same treatment as other perspective students to the university," Howard said.

The amendment to recruiting rules set forth by the NCAA that passed on Aug. 5 states that student hosts to the recruits may only be current student-athletes or students who provide campus tours to prospective students in general, Howard said.

"The Aggie Hostesses will no longer have an active role in recruiting," said Nancy Maly, senior office associate for football recruiting and AH sponsor. "We are going to have different game-day activities for the girls that are centered on supporting the football team, rather than hosting the young men."

The ruling has come in the wake of the 2001 recruiting scandal at the University of Colorado where prospective high school students were lured by sex, drugs and alcohol according to a report by the University's board of regents in May.

Lauren Roche, a senior biology major and recruiting coordinator for AH, said she has been contacting other hostess groups in the Big 12 to see how they are handling the change.

"The Aggie Hostesses have worked extremely hard over the years to fight against stereotypes," Roche said. "We just hope that our organization can find a way to coexist with new NCAA regulations so that we can continue to support Texas A&M University and its football program."

The ruling aims to prohibit gender-based groups being involved in recruiting activities on official and unofficial visits, according to the Web site. Maly said the group must now include males into the program and change the name to a non-gender-specific title.

"All of our uniforms already have the 'AH' logo on them," Maly said. "We are trying to create a suitable name using those letters, and it is not easy."

Emily Jane Socha, a sophomore communication major, is new to AH and said she still plans on being involved with the program despite its inevitable changes.

"I believe that change can be a great thing, even though we will now have a different purpose for serving this campus," Socha said. "We can still be an asset to Texas A&M and positively influence A&M football."

Socha also said it is unfair that the NCAA is punishing everyone for the actions of one university.

"Even though we are all disappointed, the decision might be the best for all of the universities and their athletic departments," Socha said.

Other Big 12 schools, such as Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma, have started revamping their programs by going through the admissions office to make their recruitment programs more broad based and to make sure they fit the new recruitment standards set forth by the NCAA rather than hosting through the Athletic Department, Roche said.

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