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Awaiting judge ruling, former UCF kicker De La Haye still kicking on Youtube

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It was last Monday that former UCF kicker Donald De La Haye and his lawyers were in Orlando Federal Court, as the school was attempting to throw his Youtube channel first amendment case out. De La Haye has had to wait over a week on his temporary fate in court and interestingly, he back on Youtube. And back kicking….which is the whole crux of the controversy.

First, we wrote about the arguments in court last Monday and now, U.S. Federal Judge Anne Conway is mulling over whether to agree with UCF and dismiss the case or not. She is expected to rule anytime on whether the case De La Haye brought can move forward, or whether UCF successfully stopped it for now, and maybe rid themselves of responsibility in the courts down the road.

At issue was De La Haye’s popular Youtube channel, which has over 670,000 subscribers and how he had begun to make money on his video postings from the internet video service’s “built in advertising” that appears before and during it’s content.

As De La Haye began to get more popular and continue to show “behind the scenes” footage of him kicking for UCF, at their practice facility, etc. that’s when the NCAA swooped in. And, they told him he could not profit off the videos that were using anything associated with he and UCF football.

Eventually, he was given the choices to remain eligible and on scholarship: to give the money earned to charity, stop producing videos of him associated with kicking at UCF and/or shut the channel down completely.

De La Haye took none of those, was ruled ineligible and taken off scholarship.

Well, on Monday afternoon, De La Haye put up his latest video on Youtube, it has ads on it, has some still impressive kicking displays (at what looks like a community football filed at a park), and even a dig at the school.

Warning some of his language and references are NSFW and not for children, but humorous for adults, too.

Probably, the best/most ironic part of the latest video is him holding the UCF logoed football, as one that he’s kicking and saying “I stole this from UCF.”

De La Haye continually pounds footballs through the uprights from 45+ yards out and even moves them back to what he says is 58 yards (it’s tough to tell on the ground without markings) and kicks several through, also.

Watching the video further begs the question, as to why he doesn’t look to turn pro for an NFL opportunity this fall or maybe in the upcoming Alliance of American Football in the Spring, etc?

That has to be his ultimate goal, anyway.

For now, he we wants to be back on scholarship at UCF.

However, he’s no longer a student and that was also part of the school argument with the judge last Monday on his suit.

So, we wait for the judge for the next chapter.

And, while he waits, De La Haye continues to make football themed videos on Youtube (six in the last two weeks).

Stay tuned.

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UCF Knights

Will UCF QB Milton kick-start Heisman talk Friday night?

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With the understanding that quarterbacks of powerhouse programs like Tua Tagovailoa, Trace McSorley, and Will Grier will be getting most of the national hype throughout the seaason, in our state we know that UCF QB McKenzie Milton deserves to be consider for the Heisman, too.

The junior signal-caller for the Knights has been a bit victimized by the early part of the season and the schedule. First, Milton did get off to a tremendous start in UCF’s opening win at UConn, where he fired five touchdown passes in basically three quarters during a blowout win.

However, the following week against South Carolina State he was not sharp with a couple of early interceptions and even though UCF won impressively, Milton’s numbers of 243 yards, one touchdown and three picks jumped off the page, as a negative.

He and the Knights were looking to ramp the offense back up last weekend in a game against a Power 5 program on the road in North Carolina. But, as you probably know by now, Hurricane Florence wiped out that game, and it will not be made up.

So, it seems as though Milton’s Heisman hype which began back in the summer, has stalled out.

Well, now comes a Friday night showdown with cross-state rival FAU and something very important: national television exposure on a weeknight. You see, for a lot of the media and in particular Heisman voters, Milton’s games are not going to trump ones for Alabama, Penn State Ohio State, and the other Blue Blood programs that they would rather watch. It’s harsh, but it’s true.

So, this is an opportunity for him to light it up against an Owls defense and then, be seen and remembered for it.

FAU was bombed by Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray in their opening blowout loss in Norman, OK, Labor Day weekend. And, coach Lane Kiffin has to be fearful that more of the same may be coming from the potent Knights offense.

Yes, being a shootout with FAU may be possible because they boast running back Devin “Motor” Singletary, who was the CUSA Offensive Player of the Year in 2017.

So, it may be to Milton’s benefit, if FAU can score some in this game keep it close, and Milton gets a chance to play four full quarters and do it well.

If he’s going to make up ground on Tagovailoa and McSorley in particular, who are on national television almost every game, then that’s what Milton is going to have to take advantage of opportunities present themselves.

Friday night at Spectrum Stadium is one such opportunity for Milton and his Knights teammates.

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UCF Knights

UCF freshman linebacker charged with sexual battery

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The first off-field controversy of the UCF football season has happened with the arrest of freshman linebacker Demetrius Mayes on a sexual battery charge.

The alleged incident took place Saturday night in Mayes UCF campus apartment, where a female accuser says Mayes had inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact with her in his bedroom.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the 18 year old freshman from Miami met the accuser at an off-campus party. A UCF campus police report says she woke up undressed in Mayes bedroom, as he was attempting to have sex with her. The accuser went on to tell authorities that Mayes tried to prevent her from leaving the room.

UCF police chief Carl Metzger released a statement Wednesday:

“The UCF Police Department is committed to a thorough, professional investigation of all criminal incidents reported to us, and we’re dedicated to a culture of care that starts by believing the brave survivors who seek our assistance,” Metzger said. “This survivor’s well-being will continue to be a priority for our department and our university.”

As did UCF first-year head coach Josh Heupel:

“This has no place in our program,” Heupel said.”Demetrius Mayes is suspended from all UCF football activities indefinitely. We are focused on ensuring that we provide compassion and support for everyone outside our program that has been affected by this.”

In the report Mayes told police he met the accuser at an off-campus party and took the woman back to his apartment. Mayes says the victim initially consented to sex and that when she told him “I can’t do this,” he stopped, let her get dressed and unlocked the door.

At least one of Mayes roommates, who is an unidentified UCF football player, told the authorities that they tried to warn him he was making a big mistake taking the woman into his bedroom. Apparently, that roommate and others were banging on Mayes bedroom door trying to break up what was going on.

They told UCF police that the accuser exited the bedroom crying and upset.

Mayes was a star at Miami’s Northwestern High School a year ago, where they won the 6A state championship, but he had not played in the first two UCF games against Uconn and South Carolina State.

The Knights did not play last weekend, because their game with North Carolina was canceled by Hurricane Florence.

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UCF Knights

Could UCF and Nebraska fill schedule voids by playing each other?

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With UCF having their game cancelled this weekend in Chapel Hill against North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence, it’s the second year in a row the Knights have a void in their schedule that will cost them a 12th game.

As we wrote yesterday, there’s really no hope of this game being made up, because it’s an out of conference game and the Knights and Tar Heels do not share the same open date.

And, for the second year in a row the College Football Playoff selection committee can look down upon UCF strength of schedule. This is because: just like losing the Georgia Tech game a year ago due to Hurricane Irma, the Knights lose another Power Five opponent this year.

That is unless UCF is willing to get creative, and maybe partner up with another Power Five program that has a very familiar face to everyone in Orlando.

Nebraska.

Yes, the Knights strength-of-schedule answer could be waiting in Lincoln, Nebraska with the Huskers and the former UCF-now brand new Nebraska coach, Scott Frost.

And while on the surface it might seem a little far-fetched, it actually makes a lot of sense for both programs to play the game.

The first and biggest key is Nebraska and UCF share the same bye week of October 27th. That stroke of scheduling coincidence opens the door for them to get together on a date that they agree to play.

Also a key factor is that the Huskers home opener with Akron two weeks ago, Frost’s first game in his returned to his alma mater, was canceled after a four-hour lightning delay.

So, the Huskers have lost what was a very winnable home game themselves, and with the challenge of their Big Ten schedule later in the year, may be struggling to get to a sixth win to play in a bowl game.

Therefore, Nebraska should be very interested in playing another game against a significant opponent that would create great excitement and could also help their win total.

Now, they’re obviously scheduling challenges for both programs.

First, UCF is scheduled to play Temple the next Thursday night (November 1st) at home in Orlando at Spectrum Stadium on ESPN. That’s why the bye week is originally in their schedule in the first place.

Next, Nebraska’s bye week was given to them by the Big Ten before they are scheduled to play Ohio State on Saturday November 3rd in Columbus.

However, as this item online suggested Tuesday night, the two programs could to agree to play on Friday October 26th. That would give UCF an extra day of rest and getting back to Orlando to play the game with Temple five days later instead of four, if they played Saturday.

And because Nebraska is at home the previous week with Minnesota it’s easier for them to only have five days in between that game any potential Friday night game with the Knights.

Another overwhelming factor in the favor of this happening, is UCF athletic director Danny White. White has such a great relationship with Frost that even though Frost took the Nebraska job in December, they worked out for he and his assistants coming back to coach the Peach Bowl game January 1st.

As you probably know, the Knights went on to stun SEC Powerhouse Auburn and finish 13 – 0.

It is completely realistic that if UCF with night negotiated seriously with Frost and Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos to come play in Lincoln, it could be worked out.

UCF has a large road game with Memphis just before this potential match up with the Huskers. There is an argument to be made that you wouldn’t schedule a tough road situation like this, if you are looking to finish unbeaten.

However, if the Knights continue to win all the way up until that date they will absolutely be in the top 10 of the rankings, and the CFP committee would give them great consideration for playing this hypothetical road game with Nebraska.

And, Nebraska would be very interested in a high-priced home game that fills a scheduled void that helps them potentially make a bowl game at the end of the year.

So, a potential UCF Nebraska Showdown could happen and there are a lot of reasons for it to happen.

Now we wait and wonder if it actually will.

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