James Bates, UF football alumni and host of the cable access program “In the House,” overflows with charisma. Women develop crushes over his good looks and men want to befriend him because of his personality. On a rainy Saturday morning, Bates invited us in for a look “In his house.”
The Haile Plantation home boasts
2,990 square feet of living space. It consists of three and a half baths
and four bedrooms. The most distinguishing part of the house grabs guests
upon entering the front doors. The room invites people to look around
at the personal athletic achievements of Bates and his wife Tina, a former
UF swimmer. Walls adorned with antique golf clubs, a ski set and other
equipment brings an appreciation of family history and nostalgia to the
room. The game room, painted dark blue, is a welcoming sight to newcomers.
The humorous nature of the young host is revealed in the glow of a looming
neon sign that reads “Bates Motel” above the main entrance
to the kitchen. In the center, on top of dark hardwood floors, sits a
red fabric pool table.
He says his favorite part of
the house is the outside yard. “We love it. We love our yard…We
are getting ready to build a tree-house actually in a couple of weeks.”
Bates, who has been busy with
a long commute to California, is currently auditioning for upcoming television
pilots as well as other sports hosting projects.
His weeks spent in Los Angeles
have not changed any feelings he has about his Gainesville lifestyle.
“Gainesville keeps me
in Gainesville,” he answered when asked about staying in his university
He adds, “Anyone who thinks there isn’t anything to do in Gainesville isn’t trying.”
Story by Jennifer Heffner