Armen Keteyian and Jeff Benedict have co-authored a new book about college football called The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football, which is due out next month. The book goes in-depth on a number of different topics, including the infamous Tennessee recruiting hostesses, who became the subject of an NCAA investigation several years ago.
A couple of hostesses made a trip to a high school in South Carolina in an effort to lure a recruit to Knoxville, and the NCAA later determined that was illegal. One of the girls who made the trip, Lacey Pearl Earps, told Keteyian and Benedict that she was encouraged by then-head coach Lane Kiffin to visit the school. She also spoke about the nature of her position as a hostess:
Earps insists she never had a physical relationship with a recruit, but acknowledges purposefully leading the players on. "These are high school boys," she said. "They have one thing on their mind."
"From the athletic department's perspective, it didn't matter how the recruit got there," she said. "Whatever it took. A lot of people turned a blind eye. That was very unsettling to me."
Earps was nicknamed "The Closer" by Tennessee's staff because of her success in dealing with high school players.