Justin Combs: Why Puff Daddy's Son Deserves Full Scholarship to UCLA
Justin Combs, son of legendary hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Puff Daddy, Puffy, P-Diddy, Diddy, Sean John Combs—whatever you want to call him—is taking some flak 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.
That is absolute nonsense.
The kid has 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.
Should UCLA Have Offered the Scholarship to Combs?
It’s good that he is being recognized for those accomplishments and that the athletic department is willing to treat him no differently than any other recruit by offering the scholarship.
The signing is a stark contrast to Lil’ Romeo’s, who was granted an athletic scholarship to play basketball at USC in 2007.
He was recruited to play ball for the sole reason that he was half of a package deal, along with top recruit DeMar DeRozan. Master P’s son—whose real name is Romeo Miller—totaled 19 minutes of play and five points in his two seasons with the Trojans.
Romeo’s time at USC was a total waste of funding, and the roster spot should have gone to someone more deserving.
That is not the case with Combs.
Ehalt reports that 5’9”, 175-pound DB prospect was part of a semifinalist team in the Catholic High School Athletic Association playoffs last year, and he recorded an interception. He was also able to fill in as QB, throwing for four TDs during the season.
Combs seems to strongly feel that he deserves the scholarship as well. He answered the naysayers via his Twitter account.
UCLA is standing their ground as well, defending their decision to offer the non-need-based award.
Unlike need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability -- not their financial need. 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.
Accepting the scholarship is validation for Combs that he deserves to be there. And although he might not need the money, it is something he has every right to.
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