GLENDALE, AZ – JANUARY 01: A UCF Knights helmet sits on the field after the UCF Knights defeated the Baylor Bears 52-42 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

Of all the many sagas over the years in which the NCAA has restricted athletes from doing things they totally should be allowed to do, the one involving Donald Da La Haye might be the weirdest.

De La Haye, the kicker on the Central Florida football team, likes to make YouTube videos, and he sometimes makes money off those YouTube videos, thanks to the site’s policy that anyone with 10,000 or more lifetime views can profit off ads on the clips he uploads. And because the NCAA exists to prevent players from making money at every turn, the organization is not cool with De La Haye cashing checks from YouTube, arguing he’s using his status as an athlete for profit. In June, De La Haye posted a video called “Quit College Sports or Quit YouTube,” explaining that Central Florida had told him he must choose between his two talents.

Well on Monday, UCF declared him ineligible, after he refused the conditions set by the NCAA.

UCF released a statement explaining what had happened. Apparently the NCAA, somewhat conscious of how ridiculous keeping a player off YouTube sounded, offered De La Haye a waiver to remain eligible while still making his videos. But the organization imposed a few conditions—including that he post his videos to a non-monetized account—and Da La Haye said no thanks. That left UCF no choice but to declare the kicker ineligible.

After some reports suggested the NCAA had barred De La Haye from playing, NCAA representative Stacy Obsurn tweeted that it was UCF that declared the kicker ineligible, as if to say the NCAA was totally innocent here. This argument is, of course, extremely pedantic, as UCF sidelined De La Haye to comply with the NCAA’s rules and the NCAA’s waiver.

Here was De La Haye’s take on his situation:

What’s silly about this whole mess is that everyone seems to think De La Haye should be allowed to play… and yet De La Haye is not allowed to play. The NCAA could solve the entire issue by simply granting the kicker an unconditional waiver, thus letting him make all the YouTube videos he wants. But here we are.

That the NCAA won’t simply fix this illustrates the folly of “amateurism” as a principle. Because if you don’t see the absurdity of the NCAA banning players from selling autographs, trading memorabilia or doing local car commercials, maybe you can see the absurdity of the NCAA banning a player from making a few bucks off his YouTube channel.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.