NCAA Strips UCF Kicker Of Eligibility After He Refuses To Stop Being An Athlete That Posts YouTube Videos

from the nice-speech-you-have-there... dept

You may recall that several months ago, we discussed Donald de la Haye, kicker for UCF and a very good YouTube personality to boot. After racking up thousands of subscribers and millions of views at his YouTube channel, where de la Haye discusses all manner of things, including his football career, the NCAA came a-calling. The organization first informed him that he would have to shutter his channel completely, arguing that the advertising revenue it generated violated NCAA rules, which are designed to make sure that all student athlete activity that generates revenue does so only in the direction of the NCAA. Then, after the backlash, the NCAA reportedly offered to let de la Haye keep his YouTube channel, but only if he agreed to essentially never reference who he is or what one of his primary life activities is: football. It was a deal devoid of sense, as his football playing career is among the primary motivators for people to check his channel out to begin with. It’s also a strange stance coming from an organization purportedly in the business of supporting student athletes as they become full-fledged adults, limiting his creative expression over a concern of YouTube revenue from his own fans.

Because of that, de la Haye refused the deal. As a result, the NCAA has announced that de la Haye is no longer eligible for the upcoming football season.

De La Haye has been ruled ineligible for the upcoming college football season, according to the NCAA. De La Haye had an opportunity to make a deal with the NCAA that would limit his creative output, but he declined it. De La Haye did not respond to our request for comment, instead tweeting that he’s “mind blown” and passing along the following message:

Here’s the tweet.

Now, the NCAA apologists have already started making noise about how the NCAA was upfront with de la Haye about all of this and only asked that he not take advertising revenue or not discuss his football career. And it appears that both claims are absolutely true. Many, because of that, are falling into the trap of thinking that this was somehow an acceptable deal for de la Haye to take, or for the NCAA to offer in the first place. It is neither of those things.

The NCAA is a money-making machine. Full stop. As a money-making machine in league with higher learning institutions of grown men and women, to baldly offer to allow creative expression of a student athlete if and only if it can control that student’s message and expression is insane. We’re not talking about de la Haye getting endorsements or signing merchandise, or any of the other examples of things that might threaten his status as an amateur athlete that happens to contribute to the NCAA making millions of dollars. Instead, we’re talking about a purely creative output published directly to fans of de la Haye. Censoring it and threatening his educational career in the name of college sports revenue is disgusting.

Fear not, because the days of the NCAA are numbered. Still, the damage it can do in the early stages of its death throes is gross.

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Comments on “NCAA Strips UCF Kicker Of Eligibility After He Refuses To Stop Being An Athlete That Posts YouTube Videos”

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Anonymous Coward says:


“Now, the NCAA apologists have already started making noise about how the NCAA was upfront with de la Haye about all of this and only asked that he not take advertising revenue or not discuss his football career.”

When you make a deal with the devil, he is usually very honest about what it is going to cost you. I have found that it is the person asking for that deal with the devil that is deluding themselves about the real cost.

In fact TD does these reviews all the time on subjects like this. From Net Neutrality, Law Enforcement, Politics, and ethics. If have found that making deals with the devil is one of our absolute favorite primary forms of business and political activities.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Similarly, the NFL loves “socially conscious” players…until they start taking hardline stands in the same way Colin Kaepernick did, at which point teams will call him a “distraction” and blacklist him from both playing and being signed by other teams.

The NCAA and the NFL want servants—athletes who will be compliant with the rules and only speak out about the causes dictated by the head office. Anyone who threatens the “peace” of a given system by daring to speak out or act against it—even in an implicit way—must be “punished” for the “benefit” of the “group”. After all, the NCAA cannot make billions of dollars off of the likenesses of star athletes if those athletes can make millions from their likenesses first.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

The Butt Hurt is Strong in This One

The only way NCAA is hurt by De La Haye’s YouTubing is that they wouldn’t have control over non NCAA activities.

Is there actually a contract signed in order to play NCAA sports?

Does that contract actually claim provenance over non sports related activities?

Are NCAA participants banned from part time jobs?

Doesn’t the educational facility confer eligibility, and not the NCAA, or would the NCAA actually have to ban the school rather than individual players?

Is it reasonable for the NCAA to ban any sports participant from mentioning their participation in sports to anyone (Mom, Dad, I got picked for the football team)?

Mike C. (profile) says:

Re: The Butt Hurt is Strong in This One

As the parent of a high school athlete who hopes to run track in college, I know that if my son wants to run at a Division I or II school, he MUST register with the NCAA before a coach is allowed to contact him. While I haven’t completed the registration yet, my guess is that there are all kinds of rules in the click-wrap/EULA that we will need to agree to. Among them, I believe, is a requirement to maintain an “amateur” status. See page 24 of the guide from their site here:

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: The Butt Hurt is Strong in This One

The following activities may impact your amateur status:
• Signing a contract with a professional team.
• Playing with professionals.
• Participating in tryouts or practices with a professional team.
• Accepting payments or preferential benefits for playing sports.
• Accepting prize money above your expenses.
• Accepting benefits from an agent or prospective agent.
• Agreeing to be represented by an agent.
• Delaying your full-time college enrollment to play in organized sports competitions.

Thank you for your reply, and the link.

What I don’t see in that list is anything regarding talking about oneself or ones own activities, sports or not, on YouTube. As you point out there may be some more prohibitions in another document, but his list highlights the chutzpah of the NCAA in regard to this situation.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: can you please explain.

They’re alive….for now. But the power conferences in college football are exploding in revenue of their own, and you’ll notice that the power conferences have also negotiated their own TV deals. TV money was the main driver for the NCAA to exist, with its bargaining power looming due to the bowl and tournament structures. The amount of money individual conferences are making off of TV deals they control is eroding that power. It’s only tradition and the public’s love for the homogeneous tourney structures that are keeping the NCAA afloat at this point.

In other words, the moment one or more power conferences decides to put on their OWN tournaments and playoffs, or even band together to do so, the NCAA is dunzo….

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: Re: can you please explain.

TV money was the main driver for the NCAA to exist

The NCAA predates TV by a few decades. Their reaction to TV, in 1951, was to ban college games from being televised. This to prevent any drop in gate attendance.

You can’t have a new medium cutting into existing revenue streams. Not until they can enforce a monopoly on that new medium.

Like they eventually did for TV for a few more decades, before losing that monopoly in court. Those on the internet will have to fight that fight all over again. With a lot less money and resources than the colleges had.

afn29129 (profile) says:

Nothing new for the NCAA

This is nothing new for the NCAA. A few yrs back the NCAA tried to ban all ‘disparaging’ names/references to protected ethnic groups. The one sports team the NCAA tried to pic on was Seminoles.. But that backfired when the Seminole Tribe of Florida told the NCAA to STFU and that the Tallahassee team had their permission and endorsement to use the name. Were quite quite proud of it in fact.

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