UCF football player Donald De La Haye is the team’s kickoff specialist. He played in all 13 games in 2016 and would love to continue his playing career. He’s also a budding star on YouTube who’s posted 41 videos this past year and garnered about 54,000 subscribers.
On Sunday, De La Haye posted a video to his account entitled “Quit College Sports of Quit YouTube?”
On his way to a meeting with the NCAA about his YouTube account activity, he told his followers that he might have to choose between playing football at UCF and keeping his dream of doing films on YouTube alive.
Towards the end, he tells them he’s headed inside to have the meeting. Then his hand covers the screen and he leaves for said meeting.
Then he returns, and it’s clear he’s gotten some bad news.
“I feel like they’re making me pick between my passion and what I love to do,” De La Haye said, clearly emotional. He said the NCAA made it clear he couldn’t continue to make YouTube videos and profit from them and continue to play at UCF.
“It’s really tough. I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m not making money illegally. I’m not selling dope. I’m not kidnapping people or robbing people. I’m not selling my autographs for money. I’m not sitting here getting Nike checks and Nike deals and all these sponsorships. I’m literally filming stuff. I’m sitting here, editing things on my computer for hours and developing my own brand. I put in the work, and I’m not allowed to get any benefits from the work.”
Sportsnaut reached out to De La Haye on Sunday, but at this time he has not responded to our message.
In his video, he discussed his family, who live in Costa Rica and are saddled with “tons of bills piling up and there’s no way for me to help. I thought I found a way.”
Both football and producing videos are a means to providing income for himself and his family. But both also are tough to break into to the point where they become lucrative.
The NCAA has proved over a long period of time that it isn’t interested in these types of conundrums. It is interested in only one thing. Money. And student-athletes don’t get to see a dime of it, no matter what, unless it’s in the form of their educations.