Thursday, November 16, 2017

Donald De La Haye vs. NCAA (2016-Present)

The National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) is one of the biggest associations in the world without a doubt. The non-profit organization, manages 98 athletic conferences that house approximately 1,123 colleges and universities. From these 1,123 colleges and universities, there are almost half a million student athletes. In recent years a topic of discussion regarding student athletes and the NCAA has been, Should student athletes get paid for playing collegiate sports? Some people argue that student athletes should get paid seeing that they devote just about all of their
The NCAA generates an estimated $1 billion per year.
free time towards the schools athletic program and that playing collegiate sports is like having a full-time job. Others would argue that most of these student's are receiving a free education, receiving free equipment and school apparel and that is enough compensation to be play collegiate sports. 

De La Haye (pictured) created his YouTube channel back in 2015.
Currently, student athletes cannot get paid for their performance. There is an entire handbook written by the NCAA that has all of the rules and regulations that each student athlete must follow to stay eligible to continue to play for their respected school. A few rules from the handbook are that a student athlete cannot be paid for their performance, A student athlete cannot receive any benefit that is not available to other students at the college or university. These are just a few of many rules and regulations that each student athlete needs to follow to stay eligible. Recently a member of the University of Central Florida's football team, kicker Donald De La Haye came into the news for being deemed ineligible to play by the NCAA. The NCAA says the De La Haye violated NCAA rules by receiving money from advertisements on monetized videos that De La Haye posted onto his YouTube channel. The NCAA says that once De La Haye started to make his videos monetized is when he violated NCAA rules. The NCAA says that De La Haye was generating revenue from his likeliness, and him being a student athlete. After being contacted by the NCAA, and meeting with them various times regarding that YouTube channel and generating revenue from it, the NCAA gave De La Haye an ultimatum. He could keep his YouTube channel while still playing football at UCF and stay at school under a few conditions. He had to take down every video that referenced him being a student athlete, and every video that showed his athletic ability, as well as never post a video along those lines again, and donate all of the money he earned to a charity of his choosing. The second option was to be keep the channel and the money, but be deemed ineligible, which UCF would then remove him from the team for violating NCAA rules, and then lose his football scholarship which would also result in him not being able to attend school for financial reasons. De La Haye choose the second option, seeing that he thought the NCAA was being unreasonable. De La Haye says that a lot of his videos involve football, and that he couldn't just not make any videos that involved it. He said that the NCAA told him that he wouldn't even be able to throw a football with his friends in a video. De La Haye is now pursuing to finish his degree, as well a profession in professional photography and videography.  

UCF has received backlash for removing
De La Haye from the football team.
When you look back at this controversy and think about who is affected by it, you see three stakeholders. One is Donald De La Haye. He has the biggest stake within this controversy. His college football career is at stake, his education is at stake, and his YouTube channel is at stake. De La Haye being forced to decide between two things he loves(Football, and YouTube) which from one perspective seems like it would be an easy choice. Pick the option where you can still go to school for free. But when you believe that you aren't doing anything wrong, the choice isn't that easy. From another perspective, it seems wrong to fault a student for making money and being a successful entrepreneur, when that's what he's learning to be in school. A second stakeholder would be the NCAA. The NCAA is affected because they found that De La Haye was violating NCAA rules. The NCAA has strict rules about players being paid, and they are affected when a student athlete violates these rules. A final stakeholder is the University of Central Florida. They are affected because they are supposed to be implementing the NCAA rules and regulations, which if the NCAA is finding De La Haye of violating those rules, then UCF is not implementing the way they are supposed to. UCF also had to remove De La Haye from the football team, as well as revoke his scholarship. UCF is also affected by gaining negative attention for the removal of De La Haye from the football team. Some people have called out the school publicly on YouTube in the comment section of De La Haye's videos. 

Individualism states that "business actions should maximize profits for owners of a business, but do this within the law" (Salazar, 17.) Not only do they need to maximize profits within the law, they must respect human rights as well. This is exactly what the NCAA is doing. They are maximizing profits for the owners within the law. Legally speaking, the NCAA is not required to pay student athletes for performance. Although you could argue that the NCAA isn't respecting the human rights of the student athlete's and should be paying the student athletes, they aren't required to. Not by the law, and not by the set of rules that the NCAA had created. So the NCAA is following the Individualism theory perfectly, as the NCAA does not pay the student athletes to play, they don't pay for the student's scholarships, and they don't pay for any of the equipment or apparel that is given to the athletes. From De La Haye's standpoint, athletes aren't being paid for their service to the NCAA, and their right to minimum wage. It's a hard conversation because it becomes not a legal conversation to pay the student athlete's, it's a ethical conversation. 
A comic published in the Huffington Post references
what student athlete's cannot receive vs. what
they do receive.

In the comic pictured to the right, it shows two college athletes who are pulling a car, that is owned by the NCAA. In the conversation between the athletes, one says "No money, No gifts, No cars, No endorsement deals, Tell me again, why are we doing this?" and the other responds with "For an education, but I'm not feeling too smart" This comic references what collegiate athletes are not eligible to receive, and what they do receive as a student athlete. With the conversation in the comic, the athletes are not happy with what they can't receive, and what they do receive isn't enough. Utilitarianism states that "the business actions should aim to maximize the happiness in the long run for all conscious beings that are affected by the business action." So in this case in a perfect world, De La Haye would be able to make his YouTube videos, and receive the money from the advertisements while playing football at the University of Central Florida, making money for the NCAA. But this is not a perfect world, and that scenario cannot exist. De La Haye isn't happy in this controversy, he feels singled out, and thinks that there are bigger things that NCAA should worry about. A quote from one of his videos, says "You have some NCAA athlete's out here smoking weed, beating women, only getting a slap on the wrist with one game suspensions, and here I am being ruled ineligible for making YouTube videos, and pursuing my career." Under utilitarianism, this controversy would be unethical, with De La Haye who is affected being unhappy. 

Kantianism asks that we treat people with respect and treat them as equally capable of living an autonomous life. Simplified, it means to treat people right, and do the right thing. The NCAA does not seem to be following this. With the De La Haye controversy, the NCAA is restricting his freedom, not allowing De La Haye to make money of future videos that involved football, the NCAA, and UCF makes sense, and made sense to De La Haye, but it was telling De La Haye, that if he kept his channel, and wanted to play football that he would have to donate his previously earned money to a charity of his choosing. This was the part that didn't make sense. De La Haye said "I worked hard for this money, and now I can't keep it?" After doing a little research on how much a YouTuber makes, with De La Haye's views and subscriber count, it's estimated he had generated around ten thousand dollars from his videos. The NCAA, generates over a billion dollars a year, is concerned with ten thousand dollars. De La Haye was also quoted saying, "They make millions of my name, but I can't make a few thousand off of mine?" Which a lot of people who commented on De La Haye's videos seemed to agree with. De La Haye also claims that the NCAA, and his coaching staff at UCF seemed to be against him throughout the whole process, and it didn't seem like anyone had his back. If these claims are accurate, and the NCAA and UCF were not being respectful during this process, that would be considered unethical using the Kantianism Theory.  

De La Haye (pictured) will not play again at UCF.
Virtue Theory      
The Virtue Theory states that "Character traits that promote wellness or flourishing of individuals within a society." Personally, I think that the NCAA is a greedy company, that wouldn't promote wellness to any individual within a society unless it had money attached to it. I also believe that the NCAA doesn't seem to care much about it's student athletes as much as they claim. They don't care whether you go to school for one year and go pro, or if you stay for four years, and receive your degree. They just care about the dollar signs, and how much of those dollar signs they're bringing in off of the players. To promote wellness, would ensure that the student athletes are happy, which for a lot of those athletes would be a pay wage for the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that these student athletes put in for their respected schools. Ultimately, I think that the NCAA should look at what they're doing from an ethical standpoint and ask themselves if everything they're doing is ethically and morally right. 

Works Cited    
                                                                                                                                              1.)    “Deestroying.” YouTube, YouTube,

2.)   “NCAA rules UCF kicker ineligible for monetizing videos.”,                    football/2017/07/31/ucf-kicker-donald-de-la-haye-ineligible-ncaa-youtube-videos.                  

3.) “Search NCAA.Org.” - The Official Site of the NCAA     

4.)     Vcortez. “What is the NCAA?” - The Official Site of the NCAA, 19 Sept. 2017,

5.)    Wolken, Dan. “UCF kicker controversy wouldn't happen if NCAA gave athletes the rights they deserve.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 1 Aug. 2017,                                    

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