Justin Combs Deserves UCLA Football Scholarship Even If He Is P. Diddy's Son

Jamal WilburgCorrespondent IJune 1, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 03:  Justin Combs #5 of the East Team stand on the field for introductions to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl against the West Team at Chase Field on January 3, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

P. Diddy said it himself, "Mo' money, mo' problems."

Little did the rapper know when he recorded those lyrics they would ring true for his son. Justin Combs, the son of the rap mogul, was offered and accepted a football scholarship to UCLA in November. Recently, he has come under a lot of scrutiny for accepting the scholarship due to his father's financial position.

The whole argument is asinine, ludicrous and ridiculous.

First of all, athletic scholarships are neither based on financial need nor funded by taxpayer dollars, according to a statement released by UCLA (h/t ESPN.com).

"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. After all, when was the last time Bruins football was front page news?

Yeah, I can't remember either.

Justin Combs earned that scholarship and is being unfairly targeted. 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.

Combs isn't the 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 is asking 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.

Combs isn't even the first son of a rapper to get a scholarship. Everyone seems to forget Percy Miller's tenure as a basketball player at USC. The former Trojan is better known as rapper Lil' Romeo, son of rapper Master P.

So why are we making such a spectacle of Justin Combs? Perhaps we will never be satisfied as a society and just enjoy the drama.

We criticize the Kardashians and Paris Hilton for living off their last names and parents' money rather than having their own talent. Then we say that Justin should use his father's money to pave his way instead of through his own blood, sweat and tears.

We want to say that Combs makes too much money and can afford to pay for school in one breath. In the next, 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.

We want athletes to be role models but hate the attention Tim Tebow gets for being a good guy.

As a society, we want drama, we need drama and we create drama whenever possible especially in sports.

This uproar isn't all about the Benjamins, it's all about the drama. Otherwise we would've been talking about this on the day he signed his letter of intent.

 

Jamal Wilburg is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow his thoughts, rants and adventures on Facebook, Twitter @JWilburg or visit his website www.jamalwilburg.com