UCF kicker chooses YouTube over football, ruled ineligible for 2017
In June, UCF kicker Donald De La Haye told his YouTube followers that he had a choice of either quitting college sports or quitting his popular, money-making YouTube videos. It appears that YouTube won out, as De La Haye has been ruled ineligible by UCF for the 2017 season.
Both the NCAA and UCF released statements Monday stating that De La Haye chose not to accept conditions of a waiver which would have allowed him to make videos as long as they did not reference his status as a student-athlete.
The NCAA statement stresses that making money off of YouTube videos is not a violation – as long as they are not related to athletics:
“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 – 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 receiver the waiver request from UCF July 12, that process was used to confirm that De La Haye could monetize his video activity as long as it was not based on his athletics reputation, prestige or ability.”
UCF’s statement provides further details on what went into De La Haye’s decision:
“In an effort to allow Donald De La Haye the opportunity to retain his eligibility and still be allowed to produce videos for YouTube, UCF Athletics recently submitted a waiver to the NCAA on his behalf. 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 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.”
De La Haye, from Port St. Lucie, Fla., served as a kickoff specialist for UCF in 2016, totaling 37 touchbacks in 13 games.