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Throughout the past few days, in the news, and throughout social networking sites, people have been upset regarding Justin Combs, son of Sean “Diddy” Combs, getting a full athletic scholarship to play football at UCLA. The perception is that because of Diddy’s fame and wealth, he should be forced to pay his son’s tuition or at least give a donation to the university.
Quite frankly, Diddy doesn’t owe UCLA a dime. The problem is when people hear the word scholarship, they only think about need based financial aid. Athletic scholarships are given based ONLY on your ability to play sports at a high level. If Justin does not perform on the field, he will lose his scholarship. Its that’s simple.
Diddy’s money has nothing to do with this. In athletics, nobody cares who your father is, whether they make 300 million or 3 dollars. College football is a multi-billion dollar industry and schools such as UCLA have one purpose only, and that is to win. If Justin was not a very good football player, he would not be granted a full ride. PERIOD. It’s also worth noting that Combs did, in fact, receive similar offers from other top Division One schools such as Virginia, Illinois, and Iowa, according to ESPN.
If you want to be mad at the Combs family, take that energy and direct it to the system of college athletics where schools make hundreds of millions of dollars and pay their coaches millions despite increasing tuition for students every year. In addition, several schools recruit athletes to their institutions and could care less if they leave with degrees. This is seen with the dismal graduation rates of many top athletic programs. The system itself is a joke.
Justin graduated high school with a 3.75 GPA in addition to his athletic abilities. If anything, we should be applauding the young man for handling his business in the classroom in addition to the football field and hope that academic success can continue in his university studies. Instead of wasting our time worrying about Justin Combs, let’s do what we can to ensure other students who need more of our energy have an opportunity to get into college and excel.