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College Student Loses Scholarship, Sues School


March 20, 2018 2:46 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
A former University of Central Florida football player who lost his athletic scholarship for his YouTube antics is now suing the university for allegedly violating his constitutional rights. In its defense, the university claims he violated NCAA rules on players not making money from their likeness and reputation.

A former University of Central Florida football player who lost his athletic scholarship for his "YouTube antics" is now suing the university for allegedly violating his constitutional rights. In its defense, the university claims he violated NCAA rules "on players not making money from their likeness and reputation."

Donald De La Haye began making YouTube videos in 2011, prior to joining the University of Central Florida's football team - videos such as "poking fun at Colin Kaepernick and chucking a football on a makeshift Slip-n-Slide." His videos earned him over a half a million followers, but cost him a place on the team and his athletic scholarship. UCF upheld the NCAA rules that bars athletes from receiving compensation when using their names or athletic talent which, according to De La Haye, silenced and violated his free speech rights, protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendment. Furthermore, he claims that the "scholarship removal was 'arbitrary and unreasonable' because it wasn't related to his academic or disciplinary standing, or his athletic performance."

The lawsuit also states that De La Haye began receiving "modest compensation" from YouTube after gaining popularity for his videos. Prior to having his athletic scholarship rescinded, he reportedly "offered to discontinue this deal on videos that referenced his status as a football player or showed off his athletic prowess." In response, the university stated that he could not post anything football-related if other videos earned him money, and went on to take his scholarship away.

The courts have "deemed the [NCAA] a private entity, not a state actor," and therefore, De La Haye couldn't allege a constitutional violation against it. In your opinion, does De La Haye deserve to have his scholarship revoked based on his actions and current NCAA rules? Why or why not?

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Julia B.  on  5/1/2018 10:54:05 PM commented:

Colleges go too far, in my opinion, in the lives of the athletes that give up everything to play the game for them. The NCAA makes billions, the head coaches of winning, Big 10 teams make millions. If the young man had his YT thing going prior to attending school and receiving the scholarship, then he should continue it. That belongs to him, no one else. The money from the scholarship, financial aid, and any other source has strings. That YT money is his alone, and he must realize that what's yours is more valuable than any carrot on a stick that's waved in your face. I hope his parents are working with him on this matter.

Kris F.  on  4/27/2018 12:34:33 PM commented:

The videos came first. He offered to stop making the videos. He could have also stopped taking ad money on the videos if the money is the issue. The school didn't offer any solutions, they just took his scholarship away for something he was doing before he got the scholarship. I don't approve of school sports or sports scholarships at all (there is nothing "scholarly" about sports) but the school is in the wrong here. Anyone siding with the school has clearly only skimmed this article and not read the details.

Marie D.  on  4/15/2018 11:10:55 PM commented:

Actions have consequences. I have a feeling he doesn't understand that.

Todd T  on  4/4/2018 1:47:56 PM commented:

All scholarships come with strings. If you have failing grades, you pay it back. If you change your major, you lose it. If you do certain things, like get other scholarships, you may lose it. If you want your free speech, refuse the scholarship. Find another or another way to pay. But to get a scholarship, which comes with obligations, and be offended when you don't want to follow the obligations of the scholarship shows he needs a little more high school to be ready for college. He does not understand accountability. He does not understand rules. And he does not understand college attendance is a privilege, not a right. He has no right to a scholarship. Go to the military like I did. But again, if the rule is you can get this if you do this, you say yes, don't do the activity, get it taken away and think you have had your rights violated means you are a liberal and are drinking the kool-aide. Not in the real world. Snowflake. Needs to grow up and this is just the lesson to get him st

Todd T  on  4/4/2018 1:47:52 PM commented:

All scholarships come with strings. If you have failing grades, you pay it back. If you change your major, you lose it. If you do certain things, like get other scholarships, you may lose it. If you want your free speech, refuse the scholarship. Find another or another way to pay. But to get a scholarship, which comes with obligations, and be offended when you don't want to follow the obligations of the scholarship shows he needs a little more high school to be ready for college. He does not understand accountability. He does not understand rules. And he does not understand college attendance is a privilege, not a right. He has no right to a scholarship. Go to the military like I did. But again, if the rule is you can get this if you do this, you say yes, don't do the activity, get it taken away and think you have had your rights violated means you are a liberal and are drinking the kool-aide. Not in the real world. Snowflake. Needs to grow up and this is just the lesson to get him st

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