By Andre Jones
Donald De La Haye, a football player for the University of Central Florida, recently lost his Division 1 (D1) scholarship due to concerns about his Youtube channel.
De La Haye, a kicker for UFC (a NCAA team), hosts his own Youtube channel “Deestroying”, which exclusively hosts a wide variety of entertaining sports-related videos. Though the channel is noticeably clean in terms of content, it’s not the channel or the videos that the NCAA has a problem with – it’s De La Haye’s monetization of athletics-related content that they have taken issue with.
The NCAA considered De La Haye’s videos a direct violation of a rule that explicitly prohibits student athletes from using their status to earn money. The UCF athletic department went to bat for De La Haye, securing a limited waiver of eligibility since De La Haye sends his Youtube earnings to his family in Costa Rica. The waiver gave De La Haye two choices, which were tweeted in an official NCAA statement,
“…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 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 either option and so became immediately ineligible to play NCAA football, which lost him a place on UCF’s team and subsequently lost him his scholarship. “I may seem unbothered right or whatever it may seem like, but I’m definitely torn apart inside, man. I never thought it would come down to this, “De La Haye told over 500,000 viewers in a video he posted to his channel right after news of NCAA’s decision hit the media.
Though trying to remain positive, he soberly acknowledges the reality of his situation, “Now I gotta deal with the consequences. The consequence is no more college football. Since I can’t play college football, no more scholarship. I’m ineligible, I can’t pay for school. Life hit me fast – very fast.”
De La Haye has started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his education, “I also want to continue pursuing my marketing degree but no longer have the funds necessary to achieve that,” he said on his GoFundMe page. De La Haye may just be alright, his $30,000 tuition campaign already receiving $8,175 from 364 people in just two days.
Correction: after refreshing De La Haye’s GoFundMe page, let’s make that $8250 from 367 people in just two days.