In a controversial ruling, the NCAA deemed him ineligible for the 2017 season after he refused to stop making YouTube videos, specifically ones that did not fit their guidelines.
You can listen to the interview here:
Orlando Sports Weekly Rundown: Interview With Ex UCF Kicker Donald De La Haye
You can also read the transcript of our interview below:
David Baumann: Donald joins us from California, where he's on his way to Dallas Cowboys camp. Donald, good to catch up with you man. First off, just how much of a whirlwind has this been for you.
Donald De La Haye: Thanks for having me. It's been crazy. I would have never imagined any of this would gonna happened. I didn't even think I was going to get suspended really, but, things happen. You just have to move on with it. But a lot of opportunities have presented themselves, so I'm trying to tackle them day by day man.
Baumann: This is an interesting day too because you have a new NCAA diss track that's out. I saw it on Bleacher Report and it's spreading like wildfire.
De La Haye: I haven't really had a chance to check on numbers... I heard it's doing pretty well. 200,000 or something views on YouTube. I was shocked when Bleacher Report tweeted it out. That's helping me out. It's doing pretty well I guess.
Baumann: Well, the diss track is all about letting the NCAA have it. You're obviously very, very upset with the NCAA. Can you sum up for us what your frustrations are with them? You've said it was the hardest decision of your life. To choose between football over continuing to create on YouTube. And you chose to continue to create.
De La Haye: Honestly I just feel like it's a very unfair system. Us as student athletes go through so much and we have a lot of pressure on our back. And at the end of the day we can't make any money while they're profiting billions off of us. My YouTube channel is nothing huge. I'm just posting videos and having fun. I'm not bringing any negative connotation to the NCAA or UCF, I'm just going out, having fun, kicking footballs and making people laugh. And they deemed me ineligible when there are players doing illegal things, beating women, selling drugs and whatnot. And they get slaps on the wrists, but as far as my story goes, I get booted out entirely.
Baumann: And that's because specifically, you couldn't include UCF or football in your videos, which is a huge part of your life, correct?
De La Haye: There were guidelines and rules they wanted me to follow. I touched on it in my video. I just didn't find them fair in my opinion. They were kind of preposterous.
Baumann: Well Donald, what needs to change? Are you going to sue the NCAA? Is there going to be a lawsuit?
De La Haye: Honestly, I don't know. I'm a 20-year-old. I'm young. I've never been involved in any lawsuits, I've never even thought about any lawsuits. But if I have to, I might. I'm still getting advice on whether it's something I should look into legally, but, as of right now no, as of right now.
Baumann: I think this is just going to continue to guys like yourself, and you, I can tell, you've obviously got an entrepreneurial spirit and the NCAA, they just frown upon that because their student-athletes cannot make money while they play sports. They can make some money, but just a little bit, enough to get by. I've always had a problem with it. Donald, do you have any solution whatsoever?
De La Haye: Honestly, I don't know if there's any solution that can be done right now at the moment. It may take some time. But maybe figure out a system that allows student-athletes be entrepreneurs and work and do what they have to in order to put a little food on the table for themselves. This is ridiculous. We are labeled as student-athletes and regular students can go out and make millions and millions of dollars and still keep their education going but if a student-athlete wants to go out and make a few hundred bucks, you gotta basically be inside of a cookie cutter the way they want you to do things.
Baumann: It's crazy. While the NCAA head Mark Emmert makes multi-millions of dollars. There's a tremendous hypocrisy, no doubt about it. Donald, I also want to ask you, today your UCF former head coach Scott Frost responded a little bit. He was disappointed with one of your reactions. He had heard you weren't pleased that the football staff did not support you. Do you have any follow up to that Donald - whether you go the necessary support from the UCF staff as you went through this situation?
De La Haye: I mean, I didn't hear his statement or what he said. But honestly, I felt like they could have just backed me up a little bit more... I didn't feel like I had much mentoring or too much help going through the whole situation. Not every single coach, but the ones I did contact and talk to, they didn't back me up too much. It happened. It's in the past so we'll leave it in the past.
Baumann: Donald, you've been raising money to continue your school work through GoFundMe to finish your degree at UCF. How many courses do you still have to finish to complete your degree and will you be back there in late-August or September?
De La Haye: Well, I think I still got two more years to go. I still need to talk to advisors to find out exactly how many courses and credits I need to graduate. I plan to go back in the spring. I've gone non-stop for two years straight, so I'm taking a little break. I'm going to relax a bit. Then be back up in the spring.
Baumann: Donald, we wish you luck and I don't think there's any doubt you'll have a successful entrepreneurial career. Thanks so much for joining us.
De La Haye: Thanks for having me.
David Baumann is a columnist for 407area.com and can be heard Wednesdays from 7-9pm on EK Sports, 96.9 The Game FM Radio (740 The Game AM Radio)