Texas A&M cross country star Ryan Trahan is facing scrutiny from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for operating a burgeoning YouTube channel to promote his eco-friendly water bottle company, Neptune Bottle.
The NCAA, which is notoriously strict about student athletes operating businesses while on scholarship, told Trahan that he must omit one subject from his YouTube venture: mentions of his company or mentions of his cross country career. The issue is that, per the NCAA, student athletes can’t use their status as a means of promoting a business. Though Trahan, who counts more than 14,500 subscribers, sees the two topics as inextricably linked.
“These are the two biggest things in my life,” Trahan said in a video posted yesterday about the situation (below). “They’re asking me to throw one out the window, essentially.”
Accordingly, Texas A&M’s athletic department and Trahan have filed a waiver with the NCAA to seek a compromise, according to The Dallas Morning News. In a series of tweets, the NCAA said it hadn’t received the waiver yet and was working with A&M to resolve the issue. The organization noted that it encourages student athletes to run businesses — but ones that are “not based on their athletics reputation or ability.”
Central Florida football star Donald De La Haye recently faced a similar conundrum with respect to his football-themed vlog and sketch comedy channel Deestroying. The NCAA ultimately offered De La Haye a deal that would let him keep his athletic eligibility so long as he only monetized videos that did not discuss football, though he ultimately declined, losing his scholarship.