Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Donald De La Haye received an ultimatum from the NCAA to either quit making his YouTube videos or quit college sports. When, in fact, the NCAA has not told De La Haye anything regarding the production of videos for his YouTube channel. De La Haye was referring to the ultimatum he received from his school, the University of Central Florida.
Donald De La Haye is in a bit of a situation with a tough decision to make.
The University of Central Florida junior kicker claims to have been hit with an ultimatum from his school, which is essentially telling him to stop making money on his YouTube videos or be in danger of not being able to play college football.
De La Haye counts more than two million views and 54,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, where he gives viewers an inside look at playing college football.
So, what's the issue with that? Well, he earns advertisement revenue on those clips and NCAA rules stipulate that student-athletes can't profit from their own likeness.
De La Haye breaks it all down with what else, but a new YouTube video, entitled, "Quit College Sports or Quit YouTube?"
“Some people upstairs aren’t happy with my videos, and they feel like I’m violating NCAA rules,” he says in the video, which has amassed nearly 100,000 views as of early Tuesday afternoon. “I guess I can’t make any videos that make it obvious that I’m a student-athlete, because that makes it seem like I’m using my likeness and my image to make money and all this, which I’m really not.”
Towards the tail end of the footage, De La Haye seemingly reacts to a compliance meeting with UCF with further disappointment, as he got less than desired news.
“Basically, I’m not allowed to make any money off my YouTube videos,” he said. “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."
While he doesn't specify what those "bad things" are, it's safe to say that a punishment could spell him being banned from playing any collegiate sports.
“I feel like they’re making me pick between my passion and what I love to do — make videos, entertain, be creative and my other passion, playing football," he adds. "I’ve really got some decisions to make and not a lot of time to make those decisions.”
He continued: “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.”
It's ironic, considering the NCAA has regularly profited off the likenesses of its athletes across a variety of sports, but athletes can't profit off their own likeness.
“My family’s struggling at home,” said De La Haye, who was born in Costa Rica, before his family relocated to Florida. “(A lot of) people living in my house, tons of bills piling up and there’s no way for me to help. I thought I found a way.”
Do you agree with the NCAA still not allowing its student-athletes to profit or do you think it's flat out wrong and should let them earn whatever they can?
We're with the latter. The NCAA regularly profits off its athletes. The athletes should be able to profit off their own likeness as well.
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(Photo: Dave Reginek/Getty Images)