Back in June, Donald De La Haye, who plays football at the University of Central Florida, gained considerable media attention thanks to a conundrum he faced. The NCAA granted this waiver, which allowed De La Haye to continue to make money on videos that did not reference his status as a student-athlete.
This high number of views has given De La Haye the ability to monetise his channel, generating revenue through advertisers, and according to a statement released by UCF on Monday, that monetisation made him ineligible to play collegiate football in the eyes of the NCAA.
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 wishes him the best in his future endeavors. And because the NCAA exists to prevent players from making money at every turn, the organization is not cool with De La Haye cashing checks from YouTube, arguing he's using his status as an athlete for profit. The 20-year-old junior had amassed almost 92,000 subscribers and about five million total views on his channel.
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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.
Many of De La Haye's videos referenced his football career at the school.
De La Haye, who spent the past two seasons as a kickoff specialist for Central Florida, had been given some conditions to follow - mainly not selling ads for the videos that pertain to college athletics - in order to continue posting his videos and competing for the Knights, but he chose not to accept them.
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"I may seem unbothered right now or whatever it may seem like, I'm definitely torn apart inside", he said. He never wanted to stop playing football, but he didn't want to stop making YouTube videos either. "I didn't feel like they were fair".
"A lot of people would watch my videos, say I inspire them", De La Haye said. "I just didn't think it was fair what they wanted me to do; so, I told them I wouldn't do it". "I was just motivating kids, helping them out".
He's now the new poster boy for NCAA reform. But the NCAA may have a more hard time policing student athletes if and when athletes turn to another outlet, like the ephemeral Snapchat, to promote themselves, brands, and other things that can make them money.
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