NCAA Forces UCF Football Player To Choose Between His Athletic Career And His YouTube Channel

from the bad-guys dept

While we’ve talked about the NCAA in the past, those conversations have mostly revolved around the NCAA’s backwards thinking regarding the streaming of sporting events and issues about the likenesses of players appearing in video games. Unsaid from what I can tell, however, is the general opinion of this writer that the NCAA is an outdated institution designed to make gobs of money off of the labor of otherwise free citizens while curtailing their rights to make any income themselves. These attempts to make income by college athletes typically revolve around selling autographs, memorabillia, and game-worn clothing, but the NCAA is perfectly capable of taking its rules to ridiculous lengths.

Serving as an example of this is UCF kicker Donald De La Haye, who has been informed by the NCAA that he must either shutter his YouTube channel or his football career.

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.

As is the case with everything to do with the NCAA, this is about where this advertising money is going and not the actual conduct of De La Haye. The NCAA’s stance is that it is perfectly fine for athletes to generate money based on their activities, it’s just that the money generated must end up in the NCAA’s coffers instead of in the bank accounts of the athletes that perform on the field of play. If that sounds like slavery to you, the NCAA would like to remind you that some of these athletes get college scholarships. But not all of them do, of course, and the value of those scholarships pales in comparison to the revenue generated by these athletes for the NCAA and its member institutions. It’s a terrible deal for college athletes, all the more so when the NCAA is now in the habit of prohibiting speech in the form of these kinds of videos just because some advertising revenue is generated.

Revenue, by the way, that appears to be going to De La Haye’s family instead of bling.

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.”

The NCAA may have once served a purpose, but it needs to die a very quick death in the present. Any organization that wants to keep an enterprising college student athlete from making YouTube videos has demonstrated its need to be exited.

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Companies: ncaa, youtube

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Comments on “NCAA Forces UCF Football Player To Choose Between His Athletic Career And His YouTube Channel”

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Roger Strongsays:

If you’re an actor, your career may be purely media-based. You can still do your own independent media projects – if only YouTube videos and clips on Twitter – and the studio has no say.

If you’re an athlete, media is a secondary thing. And yet the league claims ownership and control of any independent media projects you do.

That’s getting into the realm of indentured servitude. Not slaves; think of colonists arriving in America who agreed to years of servitude in return for passage.

All that’s needed is a rule that athletes cannot marry without the permission of their master. Or that the term of indenture be lengthened for female athletes if they became pregnant.

(I’m assuming that such rules aren’t already in place.)



If you’re an actor, your career may be purely media-based. You can still do your own independent media projects – if only YouTube videos and clips on Twitter – and the studio has no say.

Actors do actually encounter difficulty in this area. Some have restrictive "moral" clauses that could limit the types of videos they appear in. Some are bound by union rules that prevent them from appearing in non-union productions (it’s likely a studio who decided they’d do a "union" production thereby forcing actors to join the union in the first place). When someone famous does an uncredited video- or voice-acting job, there’s often a reason like this.


So what if...

So can someone explain to me what would happen if he were to endorse a Patreon or GoFundMe page (not set up by him) and stop taking ad revenue? It sounds like he could still do YouTube. That money from the GoFundMe could be going to support his family back home.

I’m sure the NCAA would balk, but ‘technically’ he stopped doing the one thing they said he had to stop doing (take ad revenue from YouTube).

Just Saying


A choice due to well-known rules for privileged slacker is somehow hardship. -- At his age, I was forced to choose between work and eating.

Is this TRULY worth even your time to re-write? Nothing more important in the world? — How much do you get paid for this crap, anyway? Because I could grind out this tripe in 8 minutes, so at only $2 each, that’s way above what people who do useful work get.

Yota sez: “Hour without comment. Embarrassed for you, I am.” (So I wrote this. 2 others felt same, as I write.)

Vel the Engimaticsays:

Re: A choice due to well-known rules for privileged slacker is somehow hardship. -- At his age, I was forced to choose between work and eating.

“Privilaged slacker…”

Let me break this down for you.

The guy is doing college sports to try to get a scholarship, and was trying to make money on the side via Youtube via ad revenue to send home to his family in Costa Rica to help them live? How stupid are you, to not understand it he working hard for his folks back home. Get the hell out.


Re: Re: A choice due to well-known rules for privileged slacker is somehow hardship. -- At his age, I was forced to choose between work and eating.

out_of_the_blue saw YouTube mentioned, got his Googlehate boner triggered and furiously typed out a mess of words which he called an insightful comment, not realizing it was his usual drivel.


Re: Re: A choice due to well-known rules for privileged slacker is somehow hardship. -- At his age, I was forced to choose between work and eating.

Nobody that is on a college sports team qualifies as a “slacker”. They might not be putting any effort into the activity their institution was founded for, but they are not “slackers”.


Too Much Time on Sports, Not Enough Classes

…the NCAA determined that he was profiting off his own likeness…

Apparently the NCAA is spending too much time on sports and not enough time in the classroom that they don’t even know what "likeness" means.

"Likeness" is the fact or quality of being alike. If you have the actual person, there is no "likeness," it’s just the person. If he made himself into a character in a video game, while the NCAA’s claim still would be absurd, we at least would be talking about a "likeness".

Dave Cortrightsays:

Re: Solution: don't run the channel himself

I was going to offer to run the channel for him. Might be an even stronger case if it were some unaffiliated fan doing it over whom he has no control. But sure, a family member could do it. Even better if they are using an account based out of Costa Rica, outside the purview of US entities.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Q: What could the NCAA do if the student-atheletes said f you guys and walked?

Oooh threaten scholarships quiver

If the teams all walk, what do they have to make money on?
3 hours of a talk show about how student-athtletes are the devil?

The schools make millions & hopefully have stopped giving diplomas to ‘stars’ who are functionally illiterate.

The absolutely HUGE ‘/s’ income from those videos will destroy the game… but has anyone asked how much the NCAA has contributed to concussion and CTE research?

As we’ve seen with every other **AA in the world, they start with good intentions and eventually morph into these soul sucking corporate structures who care more about their own survival than anything else. If these athletes could look past the but we’ve always gotten to the NFL this way & make a stand, they could do better.

Yes we need to stop the insane boosters who do bad things, but freaking ads on a tiny youtube channel to help his family… ummm there seems to be a difference.


An intern working for me this summer was telling me a similar story of how she had to choose between her small company/blog and rowing for her school.

She started a blog and company in high school aimed at positivity and healthy living. When she got to college, she joined the rowing team. Not a big money making sport, but still an NCAA sport. Somehow they found out she had a blog where she had pictures of herself along with her writing and selling some things. They told her she could continue rowing if she turned all proceeds from the whole setup over to the NCAA.

This ended her time on the rowing team.

That One Guysays:


"That’s a nice sports activity you got there, be a shame if something were to happen to it… but hey, you pay us a perfectly reasonable rate of ‘everything’ and I’m sure nothing bad will happen to your sports activities…"

When an organization employs mob tactics I’d say that’s a good indicator that something has gone seriously wrong and they need to be either shut down entirely or gutted and rebuild from the ground up.



This is just ridiculous.

These athletes fill the NCAA’s pockets with billions and that pales in comparison to any scholarships that may receive. What they do for the athletes pales in comparison to what the athletes are earning them and the schools that they go to. This is a one sided deal that is in favor of the NCAA and just isn’t fair, or right. No wonder athletes who don’t end up as professional athletes/stars, end up as crooks. That’s basically what the NCAA is. A crooked organization.

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