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Justin Combs, son of legendary hip-hop artist and entrepreneur P-Diddy, has been under fire for accepting an athletic scholarship to play football at UCLA.
According to a report by Matthew Ehalt of ESPN, there are some who believe the school should not be offering (or that Combs should not be accepting) the $54,000 of free education and expenses to someone who comes from such a wealthy background.
This has to be a joke. In a world where we look down upon those that ride the coat tails of their wealthy parents such as the Hilton sisters or the Kardashians, we should applaud any youngster that possesses enough gumption to put in the work necessary to make their own way. Justin combs has certainly earned his way onto the team as a 3-star cornerback recruit who maintained a 3.75 GPA at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, New York. He reportedly had offers from Iowa, Virginia and Illinois, but decided to take his talents to the Bruins. For those who don’t know, Iowa and Illinois are two serious football states, they do not offer full scholarships to players who have not truly earned it.
Furthermore, athletic scholarships are neither based on financial need nor funded by taxpayer dollars, according to a statement released by UCLA.
“Unlike need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability—not their financial need,” the statement read. “Athletic scholarships, such as those awarded to football or basketball players, do not rely on state funds. Instead, these scholarships are entirely funded through UCLA Athletics ticket sales, corporate partnerships, media contracts and private donations from supporters.
“Each year, UCLA awards the equivalent of approximately 285 full athletic scholarships to outstanding student-athletes. The scholarships are used by the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to pay students’ tuition and fees, as well as room and board. In this respect, UCLA is no different from the overwhelming majority of Division I institutions.”
Truth be told, his presence on the roster and all of the new-found focus on UCLA football may end up paying for the scholarship in the long run.
Scout.com has him ranked as the No. 133 prospect at his position. If you look at the list, there are plenty of players ranked below him who also have received Division I scholarships.
I would also like to point out that combs isn’t the first or only kid with a rich and famous dad to receive a scholarship to play football. He is however, the only one getting all this attention.
Nobody asked why Barry Sanders isn’t paying for Barry Sanders Jr. to attend Stanford or how Trey Griffey, son of Ken Griffey Jr., got his scholarship to Arizona. I’m sure Archie Manning could’ve afforded tuition at Tennessee and Ole Miss for Peyton and Eli.
We want to say that Combs makes too much money and can afford to pay for school but simultaneously boast that the NCAA says even the poorest student-athlete from the worst financial situations on scholarship cannot accept improper gifts even if it is for basic needs. Athletes only get what they earn, same goes for athletes in a more well off financial situation.
Bottom line is the kid more than earned his spot and we should let him take it proudly. Justin seemed fully aware of his entitlement when he took to twitter stating:
“Regardless what the circumstances are, I put that work it. PERIOD.”
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