Cheerleaders Beach Party was the first film ever shown as part of the groundbreaking and highly influential television series USA Up All Night. And an inspired choice it was.
In the cutthroat business of big time college football, universities, such as State U, will stop at nothing to put the best team on the field. And Cheerleaders Beach Party functions equally well as a snapshot of late 1970’s cheerleading culture and an indictment of the modern day NCAA.
Despite having a team that seems to be pretty awful, Rambling University Rams Cheerleaders, Sissy, Monica, Toni, and Sheryl love their school, their program, their football players, and playful showers with one another after the game. So much so, that when a strange man in a trench coat comes into the local hangout to talk to three of the Rams best players, the girls get suspicious.
And rightfully so.
The man in the trench coat is Mr. Langley, from State U [In violation of Bylaw 13.1.6]. Everybody knows that Rambling is a second-rate school with an underfunded athletic program, and that a degree from State U carries with it the kind of status that will open doors for the fellas long after graduation. Everybody knows this, but Mr. Langley lays it out anyway. He also lays out an enticing offer.
A week, fully paid for, at the State U conference at Bell Harbor [In violation of Bylaws 13.5, 13.6, 13.7, 13.14.2, and 13.15.1]. If everything goes well, and why wouldn’t it, State U will arrange for a full scholarship, and a “very lucrative living allowance.” [In violation of Bylaw 12.1.2] The corruption is rampant.
And Rambling U’s coach knows it. Rambling is a small school with no recruiting budget. They can’t hope to compete with the big state schools. He knows he’s sunk so he decides to take the team bus and go camping instead of trying to keep his three best players. But he never gets that chance.
These intrepid cheerleaders, knowing how important football is to Rambling U, decide to do the only reasonable thing. Steal the team van and drive to Bell Harbor and sabotage these underhanded, sculduggerous, shenanigans through any means necessary. They are willing to do anything. Even things that don’t involve taking off their tops and sleeping with college athletes. But mostly they plan on taking off their tops and sleeping with college athletes.
It bespeaks their incredible naïveté that they expect to waltz into Bell Harbor, ply their feminine wiles, and convince their boys to stay at Rambling, as well as successfully recruit the best players from State U over to Rambling. Did it never occur to them that if State U were willing to break the rules by offering cash to recruits, that they might also have girls of their own willing to take off their tops and sleep with college athletes to secure the services of these fine student-athletes on the gridiron?
Well it should have. Because State U had dates for the guys lined up with Ginger, Sugar, and Honey [In violation of Bylaw 13.6.1] even before the Ram U cheerleaders were done skinny-dipping in the ocean, which was of course the first thing they did upon arriving in Bell Harbor.
It’s easy to think of our four girls as the heroes of this story, and maybe they are, but it should be pointed out that at this point they decide try to entice the best player at State U, and the dumbest player at State U to transfer to Rambling by having sex with them [Again, Bylaw 13.6.1]. Monica takes Mitch Stevens, the hotshot QB and biology student. The other three girls take Stanley Krause.
First they take Stanley to their tent [13.6.1]. And then they take him [13.6.1]. One at a time [13.6.1]. Until he decides to transfer schools. This was going to be easy. If it only took three of them seducing each player to transfer, this would be over in no time.
But if recruiting were easy, schools in 2015 wouldn’t spend $700,000 a year to recruit and sign 3 players. These cheerleaders stopped at nothing. They spiked punch and gave hash brownies [In violation of Bylaws 13.6 and 31.2.3] to all the attendees at a State U cocktail party, they pretended to be ghosts [No bylaw found regarding impersonating ghosts. This seems to be legal.] to scare the Rambling players into getting away from the horrible people at State U. And when those things didn’t work, they threw their own beach party where they did a strip tease for everyone in attendance [13.6.1].
And still, when the State U coach showed up and yelled at the players for their low moral fiber, everyone left the party to be fine upstanding young men who sleep with strippers named after spices and sweeteners. It wasn’t until the girls gave everyone crabs in their jock straps that the Rambling U guys, plus Mitch and Stanley, realized, somehow, even though it was the girls from Rambling U that gave them the crabs, that State U was immoral and only wanted them for their football playing abilities and not for their academic acumen.
And that was the last straw. All of them chose Rambling U over the money, perks, strippers, and has brownies of State U.
It was the classic David v. Goliath story of small school overcoming the superior resources of the big school. Only instead of flinging a rock, David gave everyone crabs.
That this elucidation of illegal recruiting practices in NCAA football, released in 1978, has been forgotten, and that college and universities continue to throw money at recruits, as well as, one could assume, prostitutes and hash brownies, is borderline criminal.
Thank you, USA Up All Night for fighting the good fight and exposing the underbelly of college athletics, even though we all refused to listen for so long.