UCF football player kicked off team for making money off YouTube videos

Posted at 12:11 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-01 17:06:47-04

Donald De La Haye, 20, was warned about his YouTube videos. The contents weren’t vulgar, he wasn’t hurting anyone or himself, but rather he was being himself on his YouTube channel, talking about his life as a kicker on the University of Central Florida football team.

There is just one problem with those videos.  De La Haye had become so popular on YouTube that his videos started making him money. While it's not clear how much De La Haye has made to date, says when a YouTube page reaches 10,000 subscribers, they can expect $100-$300 per sponsorship.  They can also expect $100+ from YouTube ads.

He was making money off the near five million views and 95,384 subscribers as of August 1.  As an NCAA student-athlete, that is a no-no.  The governing body of college athletics is very strict on athletes making money off their athletic reputations and it’s a clear violation of NCAA rules.  The NCAA rules that were made clear to De La Haye when the issue first came up earlier this summer.Now, De La Haye is no longer a member of the team.

"This is unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable,” said De La Haye.The very thing that got him in trouble, is the way he chose to broadcast to the world WHY he was in trouble, through a YouTube video.

“They proposed to me some rules and some conditions they wanted me to follow and I refused to, because I didn’t feel like they were fair,” said De La Haye.

In the NCAA’s statement regarding the situation, they say the granted a waiver for De La Haye.  That waiver would allow him to continue to make money on the videos as long as they didn’t reference his status as a student-athlete.

That same waiver would have allowed him to post videos about being a football player at UCF, as long as he didn’t make money.The bottom line is, making money on the popular videos, based on an athlete’s reputation, is in violation of NCAA rules and that’s why De La Haye was declared ineligible to play.

UCF removed him from the team to ensure they didn’t face any penalties for holding an ineligible player on the roster.



“I was just motivating kids and helping them out.  A lot of people would watch my videos and say I inspire them,” said De La Haye in his YouTube video posted just after finding out he was no longer a member of the team.

De La Haye says without his scholarship, he can’t afford to pay to finish his degree.  So the junior has started a GoFundMe page that is currently trending on the crowd funding website.The junior isn’t alone in his frustration with the NCAA. 

Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted Tuesday, “The NCAA is out of control. They ruled Central Florida kicker ineligible over YouTube videos.”

As for De La Haye, he says he will continue with the videos he loves."I feel like I will be great at whatever I set my mind to and I'm passionate about this video stuff,” said De La Haye. “So I am giving it my 110%.