You probably remember the saga of Donald De La Haye. The UCF kicker who even the most ardent Knights enthusiasts probably never would’ve heard of became a martyr to the NCAA system after he was faced with the ultimatum of altering his burgeoning career as a YouTube star to keep his scholarship.
The school told De La Haye he would have to scrub any references to his status as a scholarship football player — including a video showing him throwing a football on the beach with his girlfriend — on any monetized videos, but the two sides could not come to an agreement and De La Haye left the team in order to go pro in YouTube.
It seems as if De La Haye made the right decision; his Deestroying channel has accumulated more than half a million followers and upwards of 50 million views. Most of his new videos feature De La Haye with NFL players — a video last week with Odell Beckham, Jr., has garnered more than 330,000 views, and another video with Julio Jones has racked up 122,000 views in two days.
But now De La Haye has sued UCF AD Danny White, UCF president John Hitt and members of the UCF Board of Trustees, among others, according to WFTV in Orlando. The suit reportedly states that UCF’s insistence that he alter his YouTube channel in order to retain his scholarship was a violation of his free speech.
In a related story, a video of De La Haye returning to UCF’s football facilities, titled, “I DON’T THINK I’M SUPPOSED TO BE IN HERE (BACK AT UCF)” has generated 236,000 views in two weeks.
It’s at this time I should remind you that pulling stunts in order to attract notoriety is a common marketing practice among professional YouTubers.