Getty Images

UCF K Donald De La Haye leaves team after refusing to demonetize YouTube channel

3 Comments

As technology pushes society into the great technological unknown, Central Florida kicker Donald De La Haye put the NCAA into a 21st century compliance quandary. De La Haye has a YouTube channel — Deestroying — that has accumulated 91,000 followers and regularly draws more than 100,000 views. Those views are worth money, and De La Haye was no secret about using his status as an NCAA athlete in the channel’s content.

That combination — college athlete status plus money — is straight against the NCAA’s amateurism policy, and the organization asked De La Haye to shut down his channel. He refused. He in a meta twist to the story, De La Haye discussed the situation on the very medium that the NCAA wanted him to shut down.

The UCF athletics department negotiated with the NCAA on De La Haye’s behalf, which came up with two possible solutions: either keep the account monetized but don’t reference his status as an NCAA athlete, or keep the content as is but stop monetizing his content.

De La Haye refused both options, choosing YouTube over UCF.

From the NCAA’s perspective, the De La Haye case is an open-and-shut one. Players are barred from turning their status as student-athletes into dollars, and De La Haye was doing exactly that.

But from an actual human perspective, it’s hard to agree with the NCAA here. De La Haye isn’t doing anything that any other NCAA athlete in any sport at any level couldn’t do. And who, exactly, is it hurting that De La Haye happens to accept advertising dollars from Google ad services? Does anyone really believe UCF boosters are going to figure out how to game that system in order to pay off their kickoff specialist?

De La Haye says he sends the money from his YouTube channel home to his cash-strapped family in his native Costa Rica. It’s highly unlikely De La Haye would have gone professional as a kicker, so it’s easy to see why he’s decided to go — or stay — pro as a YouTuber.

UCF’s Shaquem Griffin wins inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award

Getty Images
Leave a comment

UCF has won another trophy for last season and this is one they can very proudly display in the school trophy case.

That’s because recent Knights linebacker Shaquem Griffin was named the winner of the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award during a ceremony in the Dallas area on Thursday night. Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph were also finalists for the new award.

Griffin was one of the best players in college football for UCF despite the fact that his left hand was amputated when he was younger because of a congenital condition called amniotic band syndrome. A tenacious pass rusher, he was the AAC’s defensive player of the year in 2016 and was recently named the defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl as his team capped off a perfect season.

The award honors “exemplary leadership” on and off the field from a Division I college football player and was presented by Witten’s foundation. The former Tennessee star and All-Pro tight end with the Dallas Cowboys started the award last year and serves somewhat as the college version of the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

HBO releases new trailer for Joe Paterno movie starring Al Pacino

Getty Images
Leave a comment

We’re inching closer to the release date of HBO’s Paterno about former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and his story in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. Emotions already run high in State College whenever this subject is brought up and that seems like it will be the case again after today as the worst scandal in college sports history is relived and brought vividly to life on cable TV.

This is something that is happening however and HBO released a new, official trailer for the film on Friday that gives us an extended look at both Al Pacino in the title role and a bit more on some of the plot lines that are being brought to the silver screen.

In addition to starring Pacino, Barry Levinson is directing the movie, Riley Keough plays reporter Sara Ganim, Kathy Baker is Sue Paterno and Darren Goldstein was cast as former Nittany Lions coach-turned-whistleblower Mike McQuearyAs you can see in the trailer above, the film is mostly centered on what Paterno did or did not know about Sandusky — the team’s defensive coordinator who was found guilty on 45 of 48 child-sex abuse charges in June of 2012 and is currently serving a prison sentence of at least 30 years.

Paterno premieres April 7th on HBO.

UConn head coach Randy Edsall: We’ve become a farm system, pay the players

Getty Images
1 Comment

The FBI sting into college basketball malfeasance has gotten a lot of folks riled up on Friday afternoon, especially when it comes to NCAA rules and potential violations. This, in turn, is leading to everybody and their brother rehashing the argument to pay (or not pay) players.

While you would probably not have expected it, even football coaches are wading into the discourse and there’s a somewhat surprising line of thinking being taken by UConn head coach Randy Edsall on Twitter:

While Edsall’s first point about football coaches getting nervous about the FBI probe spilling over into their sport probably rings true, it’s not every day you see a head coach openly advocating for paying players and calling college football a farm system for the NFL.

The Huskies head coach’s latter tweet is referring to a proposal put forward by the SEC that was approved last month which essentially allows non-coaching analysts to evaluate film of recruits in ways they could not previously do so. This has led to many expecting programs (looking at you, Alabama) creating player personnel departments in even greater numbers to streamline evaluating prospects and allow certain staffers to handle more of the recruiting load.

Edsall is far from the first coach to advocate paying players but something says his comments on Friday will also mean he will just be the latest in a long line of advocates for advancing much the same cause, especially in light of the payments going on in college basketball that are just beginning to come to light.

Charlotte’s Greg Adkins reportedly Marshall’s new O-Line coach

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Country roads, take him home.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, Charlotte assistant Greg Adkins is expected to return to his alma mater of Marshall to take over as the Thundering Herd’s next offensive line coach.

Adkins is well known around Huntington for his work with the team back in the early 1990’s when they were winning NCAA titles and making regular title game appearances at the then-Division I-AA level. He also had stops at Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and with the Buffalo Bills among others before being hired at Charlotte by Brad Lambert.

The return of Adkins fills the hole on Marshall’s staff after the departure of offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, who left for Oregon earlier in the week.