Kicker Donald De La Haye has been deemed ineligible as an NCAA player because of the money he has made off some of his YouTube videos.
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.
“I really never thought it would come down to this,” De La Haye said in a video posted Monday on his YouTube channel. “They proposed me some rules and some conditions that they wanted me to follow and I refused to. I just didn’t feel like they were fair.”
He added: “They wanted me to give my money up that I made, which is crazy. I worked so hard for it, you want me to just throw my money away? Want me to take down my videos, which again I worked so hard for and wasn't comfortable doing? So I told them no.”
De La Haye’s YouTube channel has more than 95,500 subscribers. Earlier this year, UCF began investigating whether his videos violated the NCAA’s rules prohibiting student-athletes from making money off of their images. The university sent a waiver to the NCAA on De La Haye’s behalf, according to statements released by UCF and the NCAA.
“The waiver, which was granted, stated De La Haye could maintain his eligibility and continue to monetize videos that did not reference his status as a student-athlete or depict his football skill or ability," UCF said in its statement. "The waiver also allowed him to create videos that referenced his status as a student-athlete or depict his football skill or ability if they were posted to a non-monetized account. De La Haye chose not to accept the conditions of the waiver and has therefore been ruled ineligible to compete in NCAA-sanctioned competition. UCF Athletics wishes him the best in his future endeavors.”
The NCAA clarified on Monday that UCF determined De La Haye is ineligible.
De La Haye said in his video Monday he plans on making videos as a career now. He also hopes to finish his education at Central Florida and has set up a Go Fund Me page looking for donations, raising $1,680 in the first 15 hours of the campaign.
“I really did nothing wrong,” De La Haye said in the video. “I was just motivating kids, helping them out. A lot of people that watch my videos say I inspire them, say they love what I do, say I brought smiles to them, light up their day.
“I was just having innocent fun. But you know the NCAA monsters, man — if it don’t benefit them, then they don’t want it.”