Donald De La Haye is a student athlete living a dream. A kicker on the Central Florida football team De La Haye is a rising YouTube star with millions of views and thousands of subscribers. This success has allowed him to make a financial profit. Despite this success, NCAA rules prohibit him from making money while representing the university. De La Haye has been told to either shut down his channel or get up his eligibility. As this huge decision continues to linger, I question the NCAA’s power on limiting student athletes on being entrepreneur’s. This issue will continue to haunt and effect many who choose to be different and make a name for themselves out side of sports.
Many NCAA athletes are blessed to receive full-ride scholarships. Though you may be debt free, many still may struggle financially because they may not have enough money to support themselves. Basic amenities to survive are scarce especially those who come from low income homes. Though there athletic abilities have got them to college, teaching these young adults on how to make a living on their own by the way of entrepreneurship. I mean the NCAA makes billions off of them so why not give them a chance be prepared for the real world. Many college athletes will not go professional but having the business skills to be financially independent after you graduate would help.

Like Donald De Le Haye, there have been other student athletes who have been in his positon. The Gonzalez twins, Dylan and Dakota, of the UNLV basketball team have been very popular on social media for the last few years and are pursuing a career in music. Despite the passion, the NCAA restrictions do not allow them to make money off of their music while representing the university. In an interview with Slam Magazine Dylan made an interesting comment that puts the NCAA in question about their role with student-athletes.

“Unless you’re in the system, you really don’t understand that this is a job. Playing a collegiate sport is a job that you don’t get paid for like a job. If you’re trying to build a foundation for yourself in another avenue, it’s nearly impossible because you don’t have the time to do it, nor are you allowed to do it.”

The real world is tough especially when you’re a recent graduate trying to fine work. As a student athlete, your time is limited. Yes it is a choice to be an athlete but many of them are not prepared for the real world. Why limit someone who has another gift like De La Haye or the Gonzalez twins. In this economy, being an entrepreneur can lead to many opportunities and open the door for future leaders. The NCAA is a billion dollar business as many who are involved get a lot of the profit except the athletes.

As these limitations continue to linger over athletes, something must change so equality can be met. There have been many scandals were athletes have taken money from boosters which have gotten them and the university money in trouble. Many of these athletes come from low-income homes so any opportunity to get some extra money can seem amazing to them. A side hustle never hurt anyone. I mean isn’t this the land of opportunity?