College Football Player Loses Eligibility and Scholarship for Refusing to Stop Vlogging About Athletics

College Football Player Loses Eligibility and Scholarship for Refusing to Stop Vlogging About Athletics

Yesterday, the NCAA revoked the eligibility of UCF football player Donald De La Haye after determining he was profiting from his athletic endeavors because of his YouTube channel and after De La Haye refused to stop vlogging to the organization's satisfaction.

Being a Division I athlete on a scholarship is an elite status, and Donald De La Haye embraced that on his YouTube channel, posting videos mostly related to his athletic pursuits, whether humorous or an inside look at his routine. The NCAA expressed their disapproval of this in June, determining that because the videos were monetized, De La Haye was profiting from his own likeness and athletic status. He eventually posted the video below, in which he notes that the money was being used to help his family back in Costa Rica and that he disagreed with the decision.

The NCAA granted a waiver on July 14 that allowed De La Haye to make and profit from non-athletic videos, but he continued to create videos relating to his athletic pursuits, leading the NCAA to revoke his eligibility for the upcoming season on July 31, which they confirmed in the following statement:

Although Donald De La Haye has chosen not to compete any longer as a UCF student-athlete, he could have continued playing football for the university and earn money from non-athletic YouTube videos, based on a waiver the NCAA granted July 14.

De La Haye decided he did not want to separate his athletically-related videos from non-athletic ones he could monetize, which was outlined in the waiver for him to maintain eligibility.

Contrary to misperceptions, making a YouTube video — and even making money off of it — is not a violation of an NCAA rule. Further, years ago the membership gave NCAA staff the ability to review situations like these on a case-by-case basis, consistent with previous actions.

After the national office received the waiver request from UCF July 12, that process was used to confirm that De La Haye could continue to profit from any of his video activity as long as it was not based on his athletics reputation, prestige or ability.

De La Haye posted the following video afterward:

I personally find this absolutely ludicrous. De La Haye was essentially working a job: creating, producing, and editing his own content. To put it on par with leveraging one's celebrity to make money is ridiculous. I certainly hope both his eligibility and scholarship are reinstated.

[via Deadspin]

Log in or register to post comments

20 Comments

Anonymous's picture

Can't disagree..college players are fodder fundraisers for the institutions. But no,different than IOC stuff. Bit dark ages if you ask me

Couldn't disagree more. They are one of the few that leave college with zero debt. They get professional training in the best facilities. Total value is often in excess of $250K, especially for out-of-state athletes. They get meals, clothes, room, books, and a stipend. Coddled? Perhaps. "Used?" I wonder who is using who ... Besides, they knew the rules. And don't give me the "well, the coaches make $x." My boss makes more than me too for my labors. Don't like it? Don't do it.

Aaron Moore's picture

However, this incident could make the case for an Olympic model of amateurism in college sports increase in volume.

https://www.sbnation.com/a/college-football-commissioner/olympic-model

Luc-Richard Elie's picture

College Football Players day starts at 5am and doesn't end often until 10pm. They do not get clothed... they get free education (Room and Board)....That's it! Being a Student athlete is no cake walk. So the NCAA can make billions in just BCS alone off an Athlete's likeness and skill but that athlete doesn't own his own likeness and skill for the time he's in school? Hogwash. Selling Jersey....Selling Autographs. I get that. This is over reaching.

Santiago Borthwick's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX8BXH3SJn0

He says more and better than i ever could on NCAA subject..
They are an exploitative and immoral racket for some shameless people profiting on young athletes back's.. it's disgraceful. Enough noise should be made to get the sponsors to weigh in and fix that damn scam.

Motti Bembaron's picture

This is insane. I watched the video and can't believe the level of corruption this organization sinks to.

Pat Black's picture

A majority of college athletes still have some college debt. IF that same athlete were to work at Mcdonald's or any other minim wage job they would make more than double the cost of a state school scholarship and housing allowance. The NCAA makes money hand over foot, and they do not pay the college coaches, the schools pay the coaches. The NCAA just keeps the money while "protecting student athletes" all the while hiding concussion study results.

Ben Perrin's picture

There are rules in life for everything. They gave him a choice and he chose to ignore their warnings. As ridiculous as those guidelines might be you can't just do whatever you want if you are under a contract. The NCAA made clear to him the guidelines and consequences. Unfortunately you can't always get everything you want in life. This is not an issue.

Joe Schmitt's picture

I agree, Ben. The rules are the rules. He may not like them or agree with them but they are the rules that are in place right now. He was warned and still went against them so it sucks for him that he lost his full scholarship. And mentioning the reason for him doing the videos was to send money home to his family is a ridiculous way to try to pull on the heart strings of people and gain support. The reason is irrelevant.

Now, if this incident sparks talk of changing the rules moving forward for college athletes, then maybe that’ll be a good thing. But under today’s rules, I don’t feel sorry for him.

Bill Peppas's picture

Ridiculous.
Almost dictatorship-like.

Way to go NCAA, you guys are a disgrace.

Brian Stricker's picture

"I personally find this absolutely ludicrous. De La Haye was essentially working a job: creating, producing, and editing his own content. To put it on par with leveraging one's celebrity to make money is ridiculous."

Then he should have had no problem not making it athletic in nature to make his youtube money. The fact that it was athletic he was trading on his name and talent, seems pretty simple.

Eduardo Francés's picture

By not making it athletic oriented he would have lost his viewers and of course his revenue, it would be like turning House of Cards into a cooking show, Friends into science documentary, or turning Nova into a celebrity reality show.

he's had some time to make this decision and of course, he's only thinking of himself. He's screwed the Knights who gave him a position and now have to find someone to fill his position. They couldn't let him continue; they could have gotten fined. He better be great at making money and videos, cos no pro team is going to want him.

What did he expect? Apparently not this. He can ponder his choice in future years.

Pat Black's picture

The NCAA dosen't care about student athletes. if they did they would be protecting them not hiding results from Concussion findings. They would be making sure students were ready to graduate on time with a degree that they would be hired with. the NCAA dosen't help anyone but themselves. This kid started a business about his experience, he isnt selling jerseys he isnt signing autographes he is his brand. and the NCAA wants to crush that.

Joel Cleare's picture

oops

Hasn't his momma told him time and time again: "Son, never talk with your mouth full!"? Momma, go up there and slap that burger out of his mouth.

Rules are rules. He made his choice. Now, he can go back to Costa Rica and help his momma.
PS: Life ain't fair.

PS: I skipped past him dressing, dancing, brushing his teeth. One thing that I noticed when he got into his car is that I didn't see him put one his seat/shoulder belt!
That's damned dumb! Seat belts save lives. The majority of deaths in car crashes occur because they weren't wearing their seat belt. If he wanted to continue playing football, then he should've been looking our for himself while driving.

Michael Rapp's picture

Several issues here; one being that rules are rules and biting the hand that feeds you is only seldom a wise move.
Whether or not, the NCAA has any moral (high) ground for this (business) strategy is a whole different issue, and may very well be worth discussing, tackeling or questioning alltogether.

I can`t believe things like this can happen in 2017. No, really, why did they find it bad? Guy wanted to help his parents, wanted to make some more money by doing a lot of job (i`m talking about YouTube channel only). And what did he get? He achieved his sport results only because of his hard work. So why not? I`m absolutely disagree with this decision.
They started here, and what next? Will they prohibit all students to work and make money? It is just stupid. When i was student, i was working for https://www.getacademichelp.com/research-paper-writing-help as a writer and i don`t know what would have happened if I had been forbidden to work. I hope that the publicity of this problem will help the guy.
Thank yo for sharing.