UCF kicker Donald De La Haye is being asked by the NCAA to shut down his YouTube channel if he wants to continue playing football for the Knights.
“Some people upstairs aren’t happy with my videos, and they feel like I’m violating NCAA rules…” De La Haye explained in a video on his channel. “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.”
De La Haye’s YouTube channel, with close to 54,000 subscribers, features a fun series of videos poking fun at football players of different positions in their everyday lives such as this one, titled “Running Backs Be Like…”
Because the NCAA either has no sense of humor or because they must refuse to adapt, De La Haye is now put in a tough spot. As a marketing major, his work done on his YouTube channel is as good as an online portfolio, but the NCAA will only see it as an opportunity to market himself using his likeness while subject to the NCAA rulebook.
The NCAA prohibits student-athletes from capitalizing (and marketing) on their likeness. It is a policy that has long been debated and criticized and in today’s world the policy seems to become more and more dated and restrictive despite the growing platforms made available to just about anybody.
De La Haye, and any player, should at least be able to have a YouTube channel. Maybe we can start with that and grow from there.