Opting not to comply with NCAA conditions for YouTube channel, UCF's Donald De La Haye ruled ineligible

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

UCF kicker Donald De La Haye has been ruled ineligible.

Last month, De La Haye said he met with UCF’s compliance office about monetizing from the videos he posts on his popular YouTube channel. In a statement released Monday, UCF said it submitted a waiver to the NCAA on his behalf, asking if De La Haye could continue to create videos.

The NCAA granted the waiver — but with conditions. De La Haye “chose not to accept the conditions of the waiver,” UCF said, and was thusly “ruled ineligible to compete in NCAA-sanctioned competition.”

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UCF’s full statement is below:

“In an effort to allow Donald De La Haye the opportunity to retain his eligibility and still be allowed to produce videos for YouTube, UCF Athletics recently submitted a waiver to the NCAA on his behalf. 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.

“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 detailed its position in a statement of its own:

NCAA public relations director Stacey Osburn said De La Haye was ruled ineligible by UCF — not the NCAA.

De La Haye reacted to the news on Twitter:

In June, De La Haye posted a video titled “Quit College Sports or Quit YouTube?” detailing his dilemma. In the video, he said he makes money from advertisements on his videos, many of which document life as a student-athlete.

“Some people upstairs aren’t happy with my videos, and they feel like I’m violating NCAA rules,” he said in the video. “I guess I can’t make any videos that make it obvious that I’m a student-athlete, because that makes it seem like I’m using my likeness and my image to make money and all this, which I’m really not.”

Later in the video after a meeting with compliance, De La Haye relays that he isn’t “allowed to make any money” off of his YouTube videos. He described his YouTube channel, which now has more than 91,000 subscribers and nearly five million views, as “basically like a job” and a major “passion” of his.

“Basically, I’m not allowed to make any money off my YouTube videos,” he explained. “I’m working hard, basically like a job, filming, editing, coming up with ideas, doing things of that sort. And I’m not allowed to make any money. If I do, bad things happen.

“I feel like they’re making me pick between my passion and what I love to do — make videos, entertain, be creative and my other passion, playing football. I’ve really got some decisions to make and not a lot of time to make those decisions.”

A week later, in a follow-up video, De La Haye said he planned to keep making videos — and profiting from them — until he heard from the NCAA.

“I’m going to upload regularly to this channel. I’m not stopping that. I’m not demonetizing. I refuse to. So it’s out of my hands now,” De La Haye said. “The decision is in the NCAA’s hands, whether they want to suspend me or whether they want to let me do me.”

ESPN.com and the Orlando Sentinel both reported that there was no “ultimatum” given to De La Haye by UCF to stop making the videos. However, the school said back in a June statement that it was “committed to rules compliance.”

De La Haye, who was born in Costa Rica before his family moved to Florida, said some of the money he makes from videos is sent home to help his family.

“My family’s struggling at home,” he said in a video. “(A lot of) people living in my house. Tons of bills piling up and there’s no way for me to help. I thought I found a way.”

De La Haye was UCF’s kickoff specialist during his first two seasons with the program. He would have been a junior for the Knights during the 2017 season. It is not clear if De La Haye will remain on an athletics scholarship. Yahoo Sports has reached out to UCF for comment.

Last week, Knights head coach Scott Frost told reporters that De La Haye was still a member of the team as the NCAA situation was being sorted out.

“He’s a valuable member of our team and I hope it all works out for him,” Frost said. “We’re going to do everything we can to make it work as long as he can come to an agreement with the NCAA.”

For more UCF news, visit UCFSports.com.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!