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Thursday Morning Brews: Ziggy

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Mike McCray says he’ll be a leader, and that’s just what Michigan’s young defense needs

Outback Bowl - South Carolina v Michigan
A U. S. Coast Guard plane and two helicopters fly over the stadium before the Michigan Wolverines play against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Welcome to Morning Brews, and happy Thursday folks. We start off this morning with an iteration of NCAA absurdity, where the guys who profit off of kids’ images and athletic prowess tell kids they can’t do the same (even when that’s not what they’re doing). While this story doesn’t involve a Michigan player, this decision sets bad precedent that could ensnare a Wolverine in the future. We also have an interview with Senior Mike McCray, who will have to step into a leadership role for a defense that is largely devoid of experienced starters, and we finish up by checking in on long-time running backs coach Fred Jackson - who left the program when Jim Harbaugh was hired and is now making a difference in Ypsilanti.

As usual, there is a musical theme to today’s Brews. There are at least five clues, including the lead photo which is rather tough but references a line from the subject song. Fire away with guesses down in the comments.

NCAA President Mark Emmert Press Conference Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

NCAA Continues to be a Clown Show, Ends Career Over YouTube

Donald De Le Haye. Ever heard of him? He was a kicker for UCF. He started his career as a walk-on, earned a scholarship, and then lost it. He chased a dream and achieved it, only for it all to be taken away. I suspect you’ve never heard of him. I hadn’t heard of him either before last week, when he was forced to choose between football and something college kids everywhere do - post videos on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. The problem is De Le Haye’s videos are funny. Being funny, they’re popular. Being popular, they are viewed enough times that he actually receives a cut of the advertising money his videos generate for YouTube.

This is a practice that YouTube engages in with countless other users of its platform. In fact, YouTube has a whole system for “YouTube Partners.” Depending on how many times your videos are viewed and how you allow ads to be displayed, you can make money - hundreds or even thousands of dollars, maybe even tens of thousands of dollars. Despite treating De Le Haye like he’s from outer space, the NCAA asserts making money alone isn’t a problem. Regarding the De Le Haye situation, the NCAA released a statement that said, “Contrary to misperceptions, making a YouTube video — and even making money off it — is not a violation of of an NCAA rule.”

So if the NCAA is nominally okay with student athletes making money from YouTube, where did De Le Haye run afoul? The NCAA says that he profited from his image. That he, “did not want to separate his athletically-related videos from non-athletic ones he could monetize . . . .” How were De Le Haye’s videos athletically related? He did THIS. For those at work, it’s a roughly five minute video of sketch comedy making fun of quarterbacks. He also did the same for running backs, corners, kickers, coaches, and more.

He didn’t make a video and say, “Hi, I’m David De Le Haye. Football player for the University of Central Florida. You should buy your next car from Bowie’s Car Lot on Route 40.” He didn’t meet some guy in a hotel room and sign a bunch of memorabilia in exchange for cash. He didn’t shop around his athletic services to the highest bidder. He make jokes about football players, naming no names - not relying on his own name or athletic image to sell anything. But the NCAA says he profited off his image as a football player, and only they’re allowed to do that, so he had to go - and it’s a travesty.

I think that the sort of activity that landed Donald De Le Haye in trouble doesn’t run afoul of the NCAA rules and is just a kid using the internet. But hey, some people just don’t want to let the children use it. What do you think? Did the NCAA get it wrong here or am I off base? Weigh in below and down in the comments section.


Was the NCAA right to rule Donald De Le Haye ineligible?

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When the season opens, and Michigan’s defense takes the field, Mike McCray will assume his position a few yards behind the line of scrimmage - a senior in an otherwise youthful unit. McCray recognizes that he has to play an active role this year. He recently said, “One thing I've worked on is being a little bit more vocal. I'm more of a laid-back, lead-by-example guy, but I'm going to try to help lead this team. That's my biggest thing.” What’s more is McCray says he knows what people are saying about the team, and he’s using it as motivation. “People are doubting us because we're young, and we lost three games last year by (a total of) five points. Knowing we could've won those games is eating me up inside, and I just want to get back to it and go out and win it.” Winning “it” will likely require winning the first game, and McCray knows that. Will the Wolverines pull it off and silence the doubters? We’ll find out on September 2nd.

From the old friend alert file, former long-time Michigan assistant coach Fred Jackson has settled in nicely at Ypsilanti High School and is looking to make a difference. After joining Michigan in 1992, Jackson served under three head coaches (Carr, Rodriguez, and Hoke). Jackson’s tenure at the University came to an end when Jim Harbaugh was hired and Harbaugh declined to keep Jackson on staff. After taking a well-deserved year off, Jackson decided he wasn’t ready for retirement and that he wasn’t done with the game of football - opting to take the head coaching job at Ypsilanti High School. Of the job, Jackson says, “I feel like I’m a part of something that the kids need me to be here, and I want to be here, and I’m going to make a difference in everybody’s lives that I can.”