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.
All I wanted was to keep inspiring and motivating others through my content. Didn’t know it would cost me my education.
— Donald (@Deestroying) July 31, 2017
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.