University of Central Florida kicker, Donald De La Haye, a Florida native and Division I athlete, also happens to be a star YouTuber. Having 65,002 subscriptions under the channel name “Deestroying,” he uploads entertaining videos sharing his views on quarterbacks and kickers. In addition, De La Haye created four playlists:”$ports are fun,” “Words of Wisdom,” “Vlogs,” and “Be Like…”
Other than being an online star, De La Haye is going to be a rising junior after an impressive 2016-2017 season. He appeared in all 13 games as a kickoff specialist and totaled 37 touchbacks and kicked off 73 times for 4,441 yards, averaging 60.8 yards per kick.
With plenty of backlash over the years on its operations and treatment of NCAA athletes, the NCAA took its time to reach out to one of its many possessions, the UCF kicker. The governing body dislikes any players from earning revenue on their own time and of their own image. According to De La Haye, the NCAA is forcing him to choose between being a collegiate athlete or YouTuber. On his channel, he uploaded an emotional and genuine video explaining that the money he earns from YouTube goes to his struggling family. He also detailed his meeting with the NCAA.
“The meeting went well, but it didn’t go well at the same time,” De La Haye said, as transcribed by Saturday Down South. He goes on to say: “Basically, I’m not allowed to make any money off of my YouTube videos. I’m working hard basically as a job — filming, editing and things of that sort, and I’m not allowed to make any money. If I do, then bad things happen for me. I feel like they’re making me pick between my passion for what I love to do shooting videos and entertaining and my other passion, playing football.”
I totally understand De La Haye. Although the NCAA is selfish and only thinks a full athletic scholarship will take the financial burdens off the De La Haye family, he edits, shoots, and uploads videos to not only entertain the world but also to help pay off bills and provide food on the table.
De La Haye is a prime example of a caring and passionate individual. I hope the NCAA can see the greater reason behind De La Haye’s ardor for athletics and video-making.