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

YouTube personality and college football player Donald De La Haye has been told by the University of Central Florida that he is not allowed to make money from his online videos. (Deestroying/YouTube)

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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