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NCAA Cross Country Athlete Can Have His Cake But Can’t Eat It, Too

Ryan Trahan is a Texas A&M cross country runner and a budding YouTube entrepreneur, however the NCAA is telling him it will have to be one or the other.

Trahan, an 18-year-old freshman, is seeking a ruling that will allow him to stay eligible while continuing to promote his ecologically friendly bottle company over a YouTube account that has more than 14,000 subscribers.

The young runner shares tips and insight into his training on his training as well as promoting Neptune water bottles, a company he and a friend started in 2016.

Trahan told the Dallas Morning News, “There are the two biggest things in my life. They’re asking me to throw one out the window, essentially.” Basically, he can be a runner and post running videos while saying he is at Texas A&M and on the cross country team while making no mention of his company or continue to own and promote the company but having no mention that he is on an NCAA team or post videos of him competing.

The Texas A&M athletic department and Trahan are working with the NCAA to find a solution.

Here is where the problem lies. A student-athlete can own and run their own business without violation of the NCAA rules if it is not based on their athletics reputation or ability.

Trahan is passionate about the Neptune Bottle he has created and has worked on for over a year now but because he is using his likeness to promote it, it violates the NCAA rules.

While he ran his first collegiate cross country meet this season as an unaffiliated runner, finishing in the top ten, while he competed with his team in the second meet. This weekend Texas A&M is hosting a meet where Trahan’s status is in question.

This is not a unique situation as you might think it is. Donald De La Haye, a Central Florida kicker, was granted a waiver request but turned it down after the NCAA ruled him ineligible over advertising revenue that was generated from a YouTube channel.

The waiver that De La Haye received would maintain his eligibility and allow him to monetize his videos as long as it did not reference his status as a student-athlete or depict his football skill or ability.



Yea, I hope he decides to finish what he is doing in college and then jump back into Youtube once he is done.

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