In August, University of Central Florida kicker Donald De La Haye chose to give up his NCAA eligibility rather than shut down his monetized YouTube channel. Now another high-profile student-athlete is facing the same dilemma.
Ryan Trahan is a freshman runner for the Texas A&M Aggies cross country and track teams. He also runs a YouTube channel with over 14,000 subscribers, and he co-owns a company called Neptune Bottle that makes stainless steel water bottles and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Plastic Oceans Foundation. So basically, this kid is awesome.
Unfortunately, the NCAA doesn’t want its athletes to be awesome if they’re not collecting the profits. This week they informed Trahan that he’s violating NCAA rules by plugging his company AND mentioning his affiliation with Texas A&M athletics.
Student-athletes can own and run their own business without violating NCAA rules if it’s not based on their athletics reputation or ability.
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) September 21, 2017
So Trahan can run a YouTube channel about being an NCAA athlete, and he can own the water bottle company. But the YouTube channel cannot be monitized or make any mention of his for-profit water bottle company. Alternatively, he can run a YouTube channel that promotes his water bottle company, but he can’t mention that he is an NCAA athlete.
Basically, in the eyes of the NCAA, without them, student-athletes wouldn’t have a public platform. Thus, the right to profit from the athletes’ images belongs not to the athletes, but to the NCAA.
Trahan breaks it all down for his subscribers in a video posted on Wednesday:
Hat Tip – [FTW]