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Donald De La Haye give up faculty soccer – now he is a YouTube millionaire

Former kicker Donald De La Haye misplaced buddies and supporters, who known as him “loopy” amongst different issues, after he selected his worthwhile YouTube channel over a D1 soccer scholarship on the College of Central Florida.

In 2017 — 4 years earlier than the NCAA determined to droop guidelines prohibiting athletes from promoting their title, picture and likenesses (NIL) — De La Haye made nationwide headlines for refusing to demonetize or delete his YouTube channel on the NCAA’s request as a consequence of his student-athlete standing.

After “numerous conferences” with the UCF Compliance Workplace and “forwards and backwards” conversations with the NCAA, De La Haye refused to conform to the “unfair guidelines and situations” proposed by the NCAA, considered one of which he mentioned required him to surrender the cash he had produced from his monetized YouTube movies.

De La Haye finally forfeited his scholarship, and walked away from the soccer program at UCF to pursue his content material creation profession full time. When he made the choice, he gained over 30,000 YouTube subscribers and earned hundreds extra followers on Instagram.

Immediately, De La Haye has 3.5 million YouTube subscribers, and 1.4 million Instagram followers. He now says he makes tens of millions of {dollars} per yr between social media, YouTube advertisements and sponsorships.

Upon listening to concerning the NCAA NIL rule change, De La Haye instructed The Publish he felt “a sigh of aid.”

“Now [college] athletes have a method to care for their folks and care for themselves… Now these athletes can use their arduous work and grind that they’ve labored their butts off for years and so they can earn some cash and provides again. It opens up an entire new world and I’m actually excited to see all the positives and advantages that come from this rule change.”

De La Haye joined YouTube in 2015, underneath the title “Deestroying.” His movies showcased his life as a collegiate athlete and shortly caught the eye of a whole lot of hundreds — resulting in advert income and a booming social media following — which the NCAA took concern with underneath its former coverage.

David De La Haye and Logan Paul attend The Challenger Games in 2019.
Donald De La Haye and Logan Paul attend The Challenger Video games in 2019.
Getty Photos for Challenger Leag

“It was arduous. It was no stroll within the park. I’ll admit I cried so much these nights making an attempt to determine what was greatest,” De La Haye mentioned concerning the “six-week course of” wherein the NCAA “investigated” his on-line presence.

Although, his UCF teammates, in related positions, understood his determination.

“My teammates had been like, ‘Go get your bag bro. We’re out right here struggling, doing all this work and we’re not getting paid. We’re happy with you. S–t you’re fortunate you’re getting out,” he mentioned. “They had been speaking about [the NCAA] prefer it was jail.

“Even dad and mom coworkers can be like, ‘Is your son silly? He simply gave up a full scholarship for a Youtube channel?’ I’d have all these folks DMing me [on social media] saying, excuse my language, ‘You’re a f–king fool.’ All varieties of loopy stuff,” De La Haye mentioned, remembering the “unfavorable” reactions to his determination.

To this present day, De La Haye doesn’t see what he was doing “fallacious” by posting movies to YouTube simply “doing what I’m captivated with” and having “harmless enjoyable.”

“I knew it was ridiculous once I went to the seashore with my girlfriend on the time and we had been simply tossing the soccer forwards and backwards, having enjoyable, simply having fun with ourselves and [the school] wrote me a letter saying, ‘Hey, you possibly can’t do that since you’re a scholar athlete, you possibly can’t throw the soccer. They actually wrote that on the doc: ‘Throwing a soccer on the seashore along with his girlfriend. He can’t do this.’ It simply blew my thoughts.”

It’s arduous to not marvel what what would have occurred if De La Haye complied with the earlier NCAA legal guidelines. Would he have been drafted to the NFL out of school? That’s a query he doesn’t spend time fascinated by now that he has constructed an web empire utilizing his soccer expertise.

Donald De La Haye attends the House of Athlete Scouting Combine on March 5, 2021.
Donald De La Haye attends the Home of Athlete Scouting Mix on March 5, 2021.
Getty Photos

De La Haye went on to play within the Canadian Soccer League [CIL], however defined in a July 2019 YouTube video that issues didn’t work out. He was signed to the Toronto Argonauts apply squad and by no means bought an opportunity to play or begin.

That very same month, De La Haye dominated fellow YouTuber Logan Paul in Paul’s Challenger Video games in California. The Costa Rican kicker gained the 100m race in a formidable 10.8 seconds in opposition to Paul.

Immediately, De La Haye has tens of millions of followers throughout a number of platforms that tune in to look at his football-inspired movies, that includes up-and-coming athletes and NFL execs he calls buddies. He works with a “stable staff” of videographers and editor to create soccer occasions and competitions everywhere in the United States.

His monetized YouTube movies and Instagram content material additionally options large receivers Tyreek Hill (Chiefs), DeAndre Hopkins (Cardinals), free agent quarterback Cam Newton, retired Tremendous Bowl champion Reggie Bush and extra.

De La Haye developed his personal athletic attire model, The Eleven, and not too long ago signed with Playmaker — a illustration firm that helps athletes monetize by way of endorsements, model partnerships and merchandise alternatives. Corey Clement, who was launched by the Giants on Tuesday, is considered one of many execs on Playmaker’s roster.

Playmaker CEO Brandon Harris instructed The Publish his firm will likely be working with De La Haye on “endorsements, sponsored posts and in individual signings, to unique content material collection, merchandise collaborations, podcasts, progress of social channels and extra.”

De La Haye has additionally taken calls from ESPN about attainable content material creation alternatives with the community.

After the long-awaited NCAA NIL rule change, De La Haye is motivated to assist collegiate athletes revenue off their NIL.

“I need to begin an company that helps these college students navigate this [post NCAA rule change] world the suitable manner — one thing small, nothing loopy,” De La Haye mentioned. “We’re not going to signal 200 athletes, however one thing boutique so that children who belief me and my journey, will belief my recommendation to assist them.”

On July 1, the NCAA NIL rule change went into impact, and De La Haye has been getting messages from collegiate athletes ever since.

“My DMs are continuous nowadays. Individuals are asking me how one can earn money, how do they deal with the brand new rule, how do they transfer on and navigate by way of this entire new world we’re residing in,” he mentioned.

“All the pieces occurs for a purpose, and I needed to form of chew the bullet in order that my friends may do what they do now. I’m glad I did that as a result of I’m residing an exceptional life now and now scholar athletes may also stay an exceptional life.”

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