Another wave of criticism has hit the NCAA’s beach of hypocrisy.
At some point, the tide is going to turn in favor of the athletes, uh, excuse me, that’s “student-athletes” in the parlance of college sports.
Last week I was in Chicago, listening to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany – who is receiving a $20 million contractual bonus (yes, you read that right) – talk about all the legal battles being waged against the amateur athletic model.
On Tuesday, I watched a YouTube video posted by Donald De La Haye after he learned he’d lost his football scholarship because he’d been ruled ineligible by the University of Central Florida for profiting off his YouTube channel.
Do yourself a favor, set aside 5:39, and watch the former UCF kicker’s video:
Now tell me why it’s not right for a college athlete to profit from his or her name, image and likeness at a time when Jim Delany is collecting a $20 million bonus, Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer has a $6 million salary, and 51 college head coaches in Ohio are paid at least $200,000 annually.
Oh, sure, NCAA bylaw 12.4.4 about athlete self-employment states that an athlete “may establish his or her own business, provided the student-athlete’s name, photograph, appearance or athletics reputation are not used to promote the business.”
Rules are rules, right?
But what if the rules are outdated and, well, dumb?
De La Haye had been receiving advertising revenue from his YouTube channel and sending money back home to his family in Costa Rica.
The NCAA and UCF worked out a waiver for De La Haye in which he could separate his athletically-related videos from non-athletic videos that he could make still money from.
De La Haye didn’t want to make the separation and decided to keep his YouTube channel. He declined the proposed waiver that would have assured his eligibility.
Since he wouldn’t stop trying to make money off his athletic-related videos, the UCF compliance department feared De La Haye would later be ruled ineligible by the NCAA if he played for the Knights in the future. So on Monday the school suspended his eligibility.
The NCAA announced that UCF, not the NCAA, had suspended De La Haye.
However, that’s only semantics. The NCAA is a membership body made up of the schools. This school, UCF, reacted in fear of repercussions from the agreed-upon rule that athletes can’t make money off their own likeness based on their status as an athlete.
After not accepting the proposed waiver, De La Haye announced he’d lost his scholarship in the video he posted Monday night to his YouTube channel.
In that video, De La Haye said: “They wanted me to give up the money I made, wanted me to take down my videos, which I worked so hard for and wasn’t comfortable doing. It was just very unfair in my opinion, and now I’ve got to deal with the consequences. And the consequences are no more college football. And since I can’t play college football, no more scholarship. Damn. Life hit me fast, very fast.”
De La Haye has posted a fundraising link to his Twitter page @Deestroying in order to try to raise enough money to pay for school.
It’s up to public opinion to decide if De La Haye is a martyr or simply someone who wouldn’t agree to play by the NCAA rules.
Such arguments have been piling up in recent years. The waves keep coming.
Last week, Delany talked about those court cases against the NCAA.
Later, he was asked about the public perception of his $20 million bonus.
“The optics are what the writers make of them,” Delany said.
He added that college athletics has been important to him for 50 years and how he still believes in it, no matter his $20 million bonus being granted at a time when courts are hearing cases challenging the amateur athletic system.
“I think the apt comparison is probably not with the student,” Delany said. “I don’t think it ever has been. I understand people make that connection. I just don’t make it.”
For me, the connection is easy.
You want powerful optics? Watch Donald De La Haye’s video on YouTube.
Sorry to hear about the death of Ara Parseghian, the former Notre Dame football coach.
Notre Dame announced that Parseghian died at home at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. He was 94.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Parseghian a couple of times. He was a gracious man as well as a legendary coach.
The Ohio State football team’s first game is less than a month away, and news broke Tuesday from the training camp of the Buckeyes’ opponent.
Indiana defensive end Nile Sykes, who had five sacks in 2016, won’t play against OSU in the season-opener on Aug. 31.
Sykes, a redshirt junior, will miss the entire upcoming season because of an undisclosed injury that required surgery. Indiana made that announcement Tuesday on the eve of the Hoosiers’ start of training camp.
OK, what do you got, Major League Soccer?
We’ll find out tonight when the league’s best player take on the world’s best team, Real Madrid, in the MLS All-Star Game at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be playing for Real Madrid, but many of his top teammates will be on the pitch.
The MLS resumes its regular season this weekend and, for the first time, will be using video reviews.
Crew SC coach Gregg Berhalter said he’s looking forward to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system being used in Saturday’s road match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Andrew Erickson, who covers the Crew for the Dispatch, provides an in-depth explanation of VAR in his soccer blog.
Bravo: You have to see the home run-robbing catch by Cleveland Indians outfielder Austin Jackson to believe it.
Jackson’s amazing catch of a shot by Hanley Ramirez at Boston’s Fenway Park wasn’t enough for Cleveland to avoid a 12-10 loss to the Red Sox, but it’s worth checking out:
Brick: Now a hit by Vontaze Burfict has even caused his teammates on the Cincinnati Bengals to be upset.
The Cincinnati middle linebacker caused a skirmish in practice because he went low on running back Giovani Bernard, who had major knee surgery last season.
Dayton Daily News reporter Jay Morrison captured Burfict’s hit and the ensuing scuffle in this video posted on Twitter:
Burfict goes low on Gio. RBs coach Caskey not happy.#Bengals pic.twitter.com/DZ8Ae11cgM
2: The number of Tampa Bay players who have hit for the cycle. Third baseman Evan Longoria became the second one to do so during the Rays’ 6-4 win over the Astros on Tuesday night.
11: The number of players currently on the Ohio State men’s basketball team.
New OSU coach Chris Holtmann gave an update on the roster and other matters to Dispatch beat reporter Adam Jardy.
88: The percentile that OSU offensive tackle Jamarco Jones ranks nationally in pass-blocking efficiency, according to CFB Film Room, a website that dissects video for its analysis.
Dispatch beat reporter Bill Rabinowitz wrote a feature about Jones.
Look back: On this day in 1979, New York Yankees catcher and captain Thurman Munson, 32, died when a plane he was piloting crashed near his hometown of Canton, Ohio.
Munson was a seven-time All-Star with a career batting average of .292. He was named American League Rookie of the Year in 1970, the AL Most Valuable Player in ’76, and helped the Yankees win the World Series in ’77 and ’78.
Thanks for reading. Offer any thoughts about Ohio State, Blue Jackets, Crew SC, and sports in general to me by email or on Twitter at the below addresses. Rock on.