Justin Combs, son of rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, earned a football scholarship to attend UCLA starting this Fall. Read that sentence back to yourself now. I said he earned a scholarship.
Earned being the key word.
Combs is a standout corner back who was recruited by the Bruins to help get the program back to its’ winning traditions under new head coach, Jim Mora Jr. Yet, simply due to the fact that Combs comes from a financially secure background, taxpayers are pressuring Combs to give back what he earned, which is valued at $54,000 for the athletic scholarship.
Basically, what these ignorant people in California are asking Combs to do is forfeit something he has been working his entire young life to achieve. Why? Just because his family is well off due to his father also working hard to reach financial independence status? They make it seem as if he is the first ever high school kid to earn a scholarship who happens to come from a wealthy family.
I swear, it must just be a California thing to do, because it makes absolutely no sense, and just demonstrates an abundant amount of ignorance.
Tell me that none of the gifted kids who receive full or even partial rides to MIT or Harvard or Yale or Cornell come from wealthy families. We all know that more than often, certain scholarships are given out to children because their families attended those schools are made large endowments in the past. It doesn’t mean that the child does not deserve to be rewarded for all of their hard work throughout high school.
And if you want a more comparable storyline, what about Austin Rivers last year? He received a basketball scholarship to play at Duke. Even North Carolinians, who have made the news for the wrong reason for certain viewpoints on other topics, never asked Rivers – whose father, Doc, is the head coach of the Boston Celtics – to forfeit what he deserved. And his background dictates he would have been more than capable of paying his own way, but that was never questioned.
Nor should it have been.
And California needs to understand another factor here. Combs earned a football athletic scholarship. It is not an academic scholarship. Each year, programs are allotted a certain number of athletic scholarships they can hand out to students. UCLA released a statement Wednesday explaining that athletic scholarships are not based on finances and do not rely on taxpayers’ money.
“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.”
Of course, no one in California understand that part of college programs. Where do they think all of that football and basketball and baseball money comes from, and where does it then go down the road?
“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.”
I am glad that UCLA has come to defense of Combs. Not that they needed to, but it does look good. They are simply telling people how this all really works, although I’m still not truly sure those fools will understand.
The bottom line here is that Combs earned this scholarship. He helped lead his high school to the playoffs while reportedly graduating with a 3.75 GPA. Regardless of his financial background, he put in the hard work on the field and in the classroom, and the comments and wishes of ignorant people should not tarnish this accomplishment one bit.