UCF football player kicked off team for making money off YouTube videos

Arnold Nichols
August 2, 2017

UCF kicker Donald De La Haye has made the decision to give up football rather than give up making advertising money from videos on YouTube that he produced.

Donald De La Haye, who rose to fame for his battle with the NCAA on maintaining eligibility while making money from YouTube videos is no longer with the UCF football team, officials announced Monday.

Though the NCAA offered De La Haye a compromise that would let him keep his athletic eligibility so long as he only monetized videos that did not discuss football, the kickoff specialist ultimately refused, and as a result, he will no longer be able to reap the benefits of his athletic scholarship.

The university began investigating in the spring whether or not the videos, and the fact De La Haye made money from them, were an NCAA violation. "UCF Athletics wishes him the best in his future endeavors", the athletics department said in a statement.

De La Haye's YouTube channel has more than 95,500 subscribers.

When first faced with the ultimatum, De La Haye, who vlogs under the name "Deestroying" about everything from working out to the National Basketball Association to pranks, said the decision was one of the hardest of his life. De La Haye, who is from Port St. Lucie, could not be reached for comment. A lot of people that watch my videos say I inspire them, say they love what I do, say I brought smiles to them, light up their day.

But for De La Haye, limiting his material-and for a Division I college athlete, sports are a massive part of his life-in order to appease an organization that actively works against athletes attempting to earn what they're worth, both on and off the field, was never an option. Furthermore, the association said is not against the rules for athletes to produce or profit from YouTube videos. 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". I worked so hard for it, you want me to just throw my money away? "I was just motivating kids, helping them out". Sponsored posts on social media outlets are nothing new, but that means the NCAA will have to follow student athletes' activity on all those fronts.

The fight between student athletes profiting from their brand and likeness and the NCAA's right to profit from them has been a subject of debate for years, and the NCAA has been sued successfully.

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