In scrum over YouTube videos, UCF kicker gives up football

UCF Kicker

In scrum over YouTube videos, UCF kicker gives up football

UCF kicker Donald De La Haye says he’s “torn apart” by the fallout of a disagreement over his YouTube videos.

De La Haye has made the decision to give up football rather than give up making advertising money from videos on YouTube that he produced.

The university released a statement Monday saying De La Haye did not accept the conditions of a waiver received from the NCAA and has been ruled ineligible to compete. The statement said UCF officials petitioned the NCAA on De La Haye’s behalf and got the governing body to allow De La Haye to continue to make money from videos that did not depict him as a student-athlete. But the YouTube videos that depict him as a student-athlete would have to broadcast on a non-monetized account.

De La Haye posted a YouTube video about the decision, saying he didn’t believe the conditions were fair.

“I just didn’t think it was fair what they wanted me to do, so I didn’t do it,” he said. “If it don’t benefit them, then they don’t want it.”

He said he was asked to take down his videos, although he said he didn’t want to disclose the details of the conditions. Without a football scholarship, he said he’s unable to pay for college and must “deal with the consequences.” De La Haye has more than 95,000 subscribers to his channel, which have titles such as “Kickers be like …” and “Quarterbacks be like …”

UCF spokesman Andy Seeley said he is uncertain what part of the agreement De LaHaye did not agree with. De La Haye, who is from Port St. Lucie, Florida, could not be reached for comment.

The university began investigating in the spring whether or not the videos, and the fact De La Haye made money from them, were an NCAA violation. NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from making money off of their images.

De La Haye, a marketing major, made several videos, some depicting his everyday routine and some that dealt with his experiences on the football team. Some of his videos had more than 50,000 views, though it is unclear how much money De La Hayemade.

As a sophomore last season, De La Haye appeared in all 13 of the Knights games as a kickoff specialist. He had 73 kickoffs totaling 4,441 yards, averaging 60.8 yards per kick and finished with 37 touch backs.

UCF kicker wouldn’t agree to NCAA’s YouTube rules, so the school ruled him ineligible

Central Florida announced Monday that place kicker Donald De La Haye has been ruled ineligible after he refused to agree to the terms of an NCAA waiver that would have allowed him to continue posting YouTube videos while also receiving advertising money from them.

“The waiver, which was granted, stated De La Haye could maintain his eligibility and continue to monetize videos that did not reference his status as a student-athlete or depict his football skill or ability,” the team said in a statement to the Orlando Sentinel. “The waiver also allowed him to create videos that referenced his status as a student-athlete or depict his football skill or ability if they were posted to a non-monetized account. De La Haye chose not to accept the conditions of the waiver and has therefore been ruled ineligible to compete in NCAA-sanctioned competition. UCF Athletics wishes him the best in his future endeavors.”

In a YouTube video posted Monday, De La Haye called the news “unbelievable” and said he was “torn apart inside.”

“Every time I step into that compliance building, I hear nothing but bad news,” said De La Haye, a marketing major who previously had said he was sending the money made from advertising back home to his family. “I’m ruled ineligible because I refuse to demonetize my videos, something that I’ve worked so hard for. Something that I have put blood, sweat and tears into. Something that I eat, sleep, breathe about … and I get deemed ineligible to continue playing college sports because of it.”

“They proposed me some rules and some conditions that they wanted me to follow, and I refused to,” De La Haye continued. “I didn’t feel like they were fair. … I just didn’t think it was fair what they wanted me to do, so I told them I wouldn’t do it.”

The NCAA released a statement of its own, saying the kickoff specialist could have kept making the YouTube videos so long as he didn’t mention his status as a football player. NCAA bylaw 12.4.4 states that an athlete “may establish his or her own business, provided the student-athlete’s name, photograph, appearance or athletics reputation are not used to promote the business.”

“You know the NCAA monsters, man,” De La Haye said. “If it don’t benefit them, they don’t want it.”

De La Haye wrote in the caption for his latest YouTube video that he no longer has the means to attend UCF now that his scholarship has been revoked, though he has started an online fundraising campaign to find help paying his tuition. As of Tuesday morning, it had raised $1,580 of his $30,000 goal.

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