May 31, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- If you're a booster or a Florida State football season-ticket holder and your phone rings, make sure to answer.
Why? Because there may be a Seminole on the other end.
Seventeen 'Noles football players are spending their summer months working for the Seminole Boosters inside Doak Campbell Stadium. The paid positions have them placing calls from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every weekday during the summer.
Terrence Brooks, Greg Dent, Bobby Hart, Demonte McAllister, Moses McCray, Nick Moody, Greg Reid, Telvin Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Keelin Smith, Rodney Smith, Terrance Smith, Nick Waisome, Shayne Broxsie, Cory Cox, David Tyrell and Jermaine Washington are responsible for calling boosters and season-ticket buyers and personally thanking them for their support of Florida State Athletics while also inquiring about ticket renewals.
"It's kind of fun," Waisome said this week, moments after leaving a personal message on the answering machine of a booster. "We are just kind of helping [Seminole] Boosters, calling people letting them know we appreciate their contributions. It kind of helps because it gives us a chance to give back to them."
Seminole Boosters' summertime hiring of student-athletes isn't new. For years, athletes from across sports at FSU have worked around the department.
Sarah Reed, a former Seminoles track & field standout and current Coaches Club Director for FSU, worked part-time in the booster offices when she was a student. As a full-time employee of the boosters now, she is currently overseeing the position she once held.
It's in that job where the athletes are given scripts with talking points for their calls. After a few days, though, those scripts are set aside and the newest Seminole Booster employees speak from the heart to those individuals whose generosities have helped make their dreams of playing major college football a reality.
"Now you put your own words in there and make it your own," Waisome said.
As the players get more and more comfortable making cold calls everyday -- working hours are from 9 a.m to 8 p.m. with the football players picking up available shifts as it fits with their other school- and sport-related responsibilities -- those on the other end of the calls get to hear from the student-athletes they help support.
It also gives the players an opportunity to better understand the generous assistance that's needed to support an elite Division I athletics program and fill the stands for its most popular sport.
"We think it's really important for our boosters to know that their donation and their gifts to Seminole Boosters really do impact our student athletes," Seminole Boosters Marketing Director Kirstin Rayborn said. "Right now for our football players we like for them to see the other side of it that their scholarship is something the community has given to them. It's great to see that connection between the two, between a student-athlete and a donor when they're on the phone.
"Our boosters in the community and all around the nation are making a difference for Florida State Athletics and it's a great opportunity for us to say thank you and for the student-athlete to say thank you."
"It's fun talking to different people getting to know them a little bit," Waisome added.