The NCAA reportedly nixed the YouTube channel of UCF’s kickoff specialist, Donald De La Haye, after discovering that some of De La Haye’s videos contained content of him displaying his day-to-day life as a UCF athlete.
De La Haye’s channel has published 41 videos over the past year, piling up 54,000 subscribers and two million views in that time. His videos are nearly all related to his athletic career, though only a few directly address his status as UCF’s kicker; others are simply videos showing off his daily kicking regime and ability to boot a flatscreen TV from a ledge. As De La Haye stated in his latest video, entitled “Quit College Sports Or Quit YouTube,” because he was profiting from ads placed on his videos and channel homepage, the NCAA determined that he was profiting off his own likeness—the nerve!—and put its foot down.
His video announcing the NCAA’s decision to intervene and kill any future videos in which they do not directly reap the profit of his labor was released on Saturday. In it, De La Haye lamented his upcoming decision—“I feel like they’re making me pick between my passion and what I love to do”—saying that a recent meeting with UCF compliance officials revealed that “people upstairs” were upset with his channel. He said they told him he was “violating NCAA rules” for crafting videos that “make it obvious that I’m a student-athlete.”
“It’s really tough. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m not making money illegally. I’m not selling dope. I’m not kidnapping people or robbing people. I’m not selling my autographs for money. I’m not sitting here getting Nike checks and Nike deals and all these sponsorships. I’m literally filming stuff. I’m sitting here, editing things on my computer for hours and developing my own brand. I put in the work, and I’m not allowed to get any benefits from the work.”
“Basically, I’m not allowed to make any money off my YouTube videos. I’m working hard, basically like a job, filming, editing, coming up with ideas, doing things of that sort. And I’m not allowed to make any money. If I do, bad things happen.”
De La Haye intimated in his 10-minute video that he had been using some of the money made from his channel to help his family at home—he hails from Costa Rica—saying they have, “tons of bills piling up and there’s no way for me to help. I thought I found a way.” He did not make clear what stipulations the UCF compliance officials or NCAA set forth for his channel.