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Athletes play by own rules in dating game

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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 12:05 am

When Ray Shipman came to UF in the summer of 2008, he had expectations of becoming the big man on campus. Shipman was Florida Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year in 2008 and came to UF surrounded by much hype. Like many other college students, his perception of what college life was like came from sensationalized depictions in movies and television.

“You watch movies, and girls are throwing themselves at you. It’s like that, but not to that extent,” the UF sophomore shooting guard said.

Shipman recently declared his intentions to transfer out of UF in hopes of more playing time, but his two years in Gainesville give an interesting look into what dating is like for an athlete at Florida.

In high school, Shipman never had a girlfriend, but he was no stranger to the company of the opposite sex. Coming to UF escalated Shipman’s womanizing to another level.

“When I first got up here, I was pretty bad,” he said. “Every girl wants to know who the new dude is on campus. Girls see an athlete who is tall and dresses nice, and they like that type of stuff. Most of the time, girls come to me.”

Shipman meets girls mainly through Facebook, where he says they’re often more open and comfortable, clocking in more than 60 female friend requests a day. 

“If they fit the part, I would send them a message and see where that goes,” he said.

And Facebook wasn’t the only way Shipman was meeting girls. He was balancing texting anywhere between five to 10 girls at a time and lining up potential hookups via his teammates.

“A lot of the older players show you around. If my teammate is with a girl and it’s not really serious, they end up switching to me,” he said. “And now that I’m older, I introduce them to the new players. Some teammates of mine, some other athletes, they don’t really care [that girls hook up with other players]. That’s not my type. That’s nasty. But some freshman [players], they’ll hop right on it.”

The promiscuity of those groupies is a reason why Shipman is a big proponent of safe sex. He said not wearing a condom is “just stupid” with all the health risks that come along with casual sex, which can be just as common on the road.

“A girl will hit you up when they see you’re coming to town. They’ll try to come to your hotel room,” he said.

Nothing is out of bounds for some girls who Shipman said are only interested in one thing: sleeping with an athlete.

“There are girls that go out there for athletes. They do that intentionally,” he said. “Maybe it’s the crowd or the games.”

But the ladies who often hook up with Shipman’s teammates run the risk of becoming well-known inside those players’ social circles.

“Girls get reps,” he said. “Sometimes I feel sorry for girls because they don’t know it.”

And as an athlete gets more reps on the field of play, they deservedly get more attention as their skills elevate to higher levels. Shipman says that he can see the same correlation in his dating life.

”The Caucasian girls tend to notice the basketball players more,” he said. “The African-American girls don’t really know if you score or not,” Shipman said. “They go on the basis of ‘He’s an athlete. He’s attractive.’ But then the better you get, they start noticing. It’s a big difference.”

However, not all girls let things like points, rebounds or playing time stop them from their pursuits.

“Some girls don’t even care what you do, as along as you’re an athlete. They don’t care how many points you score,” he said.

Dating girls who are attracted mainly to fame and status is not without its repercussions. Shipman explained that girls becoming attached is a common problem.

“That’s been a really hard thing for me. You can tell when she is trying to get to that next step,” he said. “Usually I try not to get too attached. You’ve got to let the girl know that it’s not serious, that you don’t want to be tied down. They usually catch on.”

But not every girl takes rejection so easy. Shipman’s car has been vandalized four times since he came to UF.

Whether it was the difficulty of removing scratches on his car or just the maturity that comes with age, Shipman is no longer the philanderer that he was during his freshman year. Because of his escapades, he started to earn a bad reputation. He is now dating one girl exclusively, and it is quite serious.

“I got attached to the girl I’m with now. That caught me off guard,” he said.

Athletes like Shipman are often lionized for their on-field accomplishments and charged with the responsibility of being role models for the community. But what’s often forgotten is that they’re only kids. They’re teenagers just like the rest of the Student Body.

They’re playing the same game off the field as their fellow students — just with different rules.

Welcome to the discussion.

11 comments:

  • silverfox posted at 10:25 pm on Sun, May 30, 2010.

    silverfox Posts: 1

    um...WTF? Rayford Shipman u def. are the biggest liar to ever like walk this campus...lol not only do I know for a fact that u cheat on ur gurlfriend ( with whom u r NOT serious bcuz if u were then u wuldnt have dropd her for tht chick u were wine'n and dine'n just last summer A and into fall 2010) u def do have unprotected sex u are the one who chases never have I ever seen a gurl chase yo ugly ass! Not only do u chase these girls at UF u apperently harazz them and they boyfriends in the club, at partiez and over voicemail when they say that they nolonger want u.( voicemail that I personally heard and txt I personally read) N then after and only after u get dropped u decide to pic up ur ex and make her wifey again..lol dumbezt shit I have ever heard. LOL u ride benchez guy! ur position is right pinewood. LOL why would anyone tht wanted a guy with nice clothes and status chase a college player and not an NFL or NBA player?

    LOL i feel sorry for jaz how dumb culd she really be? I mean she got accepted to UF right

     
  • gtrfly8r posted at 10:12 am on Sun, May 16, 2010.

    gtrfly8r Posts: 1

    Wow. This is really sexist and offensive. Way to make women seem like dick hungry whores.

     
  • 247brother posted at 10:10 am on Sat, Apr 17, 2010.

    247brother Posts: 1

    As a former college athlete from California....this is nothing new on a college campus...this stuff is very true...I was in college during the early to mid 80s and we did much of the same as well as alot more things than whats in this article when it came to male athletes and girls...I could only imagine how it would have been if there had been internet and facebook when I was in school....

     
  • johnnybluejeans posted at 10:52 pm on Fri, Apr 16, 2010.

    johnnybluejeans Posts: 2

    gatorgrad09, I think Meltrez was referring to Michigan.

     
  • johnnybluejeans posted at 10:46 pm on Fri, Apr 16, 2010.

    johnnybluejeans Posts: 2

    @Meltrez

    Yeah right. You expect us to believe there are no athlete groupies at Michigan?

     
  • G8ergirl11 posted at 3:17 pm on Fri, Apr 16, 2010.

    G8ergirl11 Posts: 11

    This is pathetic.

     
  • gatorgrad09 posted at 2:42 pm on Fri, Apr 16, 2010.

    gatorgrad09 Posts: 15

    Meltrez, the "ghetto trash" you speak is a product of Miramar, FL--the backyard of Miami.

    Second, let's not forget the 'Canes' own oh-so-stellar reputation--by far worse than anything going on at UF. It's almost right up there with the crimiNOLES--although, I will admit it is getting cleaned up a bit. Plus, if miami has bigger celebs, that means there are even more, even worse groupies/gold-diggers resorting to even further degrading things just to get a piece of the action. I mean, just think of all those body guards, bellboys, valets, security gate guards and personal assistants they have to sleep with just to get access to the celeb!

    So before you go insulting (unfoundedly) anyone, remember that more money and popularity doesn't make you more classy (a pathetically common, pathetically incorrect, thought of many a miami inhabitant), nor does it deem the chaser more classy.

     
  • Meltrez posted at 11:07 am on Fri, Apr 16, 2010.

    Meltrez Posts: 1

    Some piece of ghetto trash is getting attention from girls because he's playing SEC basketball? This is reason 957,822 why UM is a better school than UF, nobody really gives a **** if you play a sport. In a city where there are actual, legitimate celebrities and pro athletes and rich guys to chase around nobody's resorting to 19 year-old fathers of three.

    Second, I've long said that groupies and start chasers are perhaps the lowest form of female human life. The only lower form? College groupies. Couldn't get the attention of an NBA star so you resort to hitting up college kids to release your Daddy issues?

    As a good friend of mine says "You stay classy Gainesville girls. You stay classy."

     
  • scooterpryor posted at 1:26 am on Fri, Apr 16, 2010.

    scooterpryor Posts: 2

    Must be Nice!! groupie's allways looking for a meal ticket :)

     
  • Tensorial posted at 1:04 pm on Thu, Apr 15, 2010.

    Tensorial Posts: 102

    Yeah that is a good description of gainesville women: EASY!

     
  • monsterlobster posted at 11:45 am on Thu, Apr 15, 2010.

    monsterlobster Posts: 2

    Seriously?