Shipman moves to LB

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Former Florida guard Ray Shipman said he’s still not sure if he’ll make it to tonight’s Florida-UCF at the Amway Center.

“I’ve got an assignment to finish and a test (Thursday) to study for,” said Shipman, last season’s SEC men’s basketball scholar athlete of the year. “I’m still debating.”

It didn’t surprise many when Shipman transferred from Florida to UCF last spring. The sophomore guard wasn’t getting as much playing time as he wanted.

What was surprising was that Shipman, Florida’s 2o08 Mr. Basketball, abandoned hoops altogether to join UCF’s football team. Originally pegged as a safety, Shipman has bulked up to 235 pounds and moved from safety to outside linebacker.

“Coach (George O’Leary) told me there were going to be more openings at linebacker next season, so I thought why not,” Shipman said.

Shipman said he talked with new UCF basketball coach Donnie Jones shortly after he was hired, but has no desire to walk-on to the basketball team.

“I’m just focused on football,” Shipman said.

Shipman is working with the practice team this season (due to NCAA transfer rules), but has been excited about UCF’s run to the Conference USA title game. The Knights are favored to beat SMU on Saturday

But Shipman also can’t wait to play in his first college football game next fall.

“I’m really pumped up, probably more pumped up then when I was preparing for my first (college) basketball season,” Shipman said. “I can’t wait for it to happen.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Why should we care about what he thinks or does anymore? He jumped ship because of playing time. I lose all respect for players who do that at Florida, and there should certainly be no place for them. There is no useful information in this article.

  2. He probably should have stayed here. He couldve helped us this year. We have no size at all at LB. What was Shipman? 6’4″? Boy, 6’4″ 235 and he runs like a saftey? I’ll look forward to seeing him next year.

  3. He may have left due to playing time, but he obviously dosent have the passion to play basketball at the college leve. I’m glad he found his passion and is chasing it. I think he could of helped our football team more this year than the basketball team.

  4. David’s comments represent a lot of fans around this country when it comes to these athletes. They only care about them as long as the player is doing their bidding for their program. They don’t care about them as a person any more than they would care about them if they saw them walking down the street in their neighborhood. They think they don’t belong around.

    It is one of the things I know many black athletes feel about fans. Many don’t get too carried away by fan adulation or loyalty and die hardness, because their is a knowledge that but for the fact they were playing ball they would be seen as another black guy with dreadlocks, tattoos, with their pants hanging low. A person a majority of fans would have no desire to invite over for Sunday dinner, let alone cheer wildly for and love.

    As an African American I couldn’t be happier to see any of these athletes make the moves that are going to be the best for THEM over the course of their life. I get excited to see the person make a decision that rewards them. That is because I see them as young people first, an athlete second, and a Gator third. One of the reasons I have been extremely excited about Cam Newton, while most Gator fans bristle at the mention of him and chose to dog him.

    Coaches can quit on the Gators. Coaches can set up shop in the SEC to keep the Gators from SEC and National Champions and are worshiped for their time here in Gainesville. That is because the fans can identify and love them as people first. Spurrier could do or say anything and Gator fans would still love him and excuse his leaving us in a lurch and doing every thing in his power to beat our brains out with glee. But let a player who gave his all while a Gator make a move to benefit himself. He is seen as a traitor and “nothing to see.”