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P Diddy's Son Justin Combs Earned His Scholarship And Shouldn't Be Criticized For Taking It

Justin Combs, son of rapper/ producer/ millionaire P. Diddy, has been offered a scholarship to UCLA to play football. The soon-to-be college freshman graduated from a prep school with a 3.75 GPA, reportedly did well on his SATs and received offers to play for plenty of different schools around the country. He’s been ranked as a three-star recruit and is expected to contribute at the next level. Unfortunately, rather than patting the young man on the back for a job well done, certain segments of the media and general public have harshly criticized him this week for accepting the scholarship he was offered. Apparently, given his father’s wealth, he should be expected to pay for school out of pocket.

Let me tell you why that’s idiotic. Football scholarships are not need-based; they are merit-based. They’re paid from a pool of money entirely funded by donations and athletic receipts. UCLA gives out more than two hundred every year to student-athletes from all walks of life. Rich, poor, black, white, all that matters is whether you can play, and by all accounts, Combs plays very very well.

The argument against his being given a scholarship roughly reads like this. Since his family is capable of paying for school without a change in quality of life, he should choose to pay for school out of pocket. In turn, that fifty-four thousand dollars should then be given to a poor student who can’t afford it. Here’s the problem with that logic. If Diddy doesn’t accept the scholarship, the money isn’t going to go to someone else who can’t afford school, it’s going to go to someone else who is good at football. Since UCLA is pretty good at football, whoever would then be given the scholarship would be someone else who could have gone to college for free to play football for another school.

It’s stupid logical, and beyond that, it’s punishing achievement. Athletic scholarships are supposed to be about fairness. They’re supposed to be about rewarding men and women for working hard and excelling at something by offering them a gift. Justin Combs is just as entitled to that gift as anyone else, and it’s unfair to ask him to turn down the scholarship. Besides, where is the line drawn? If someone’s family has a million dollars in assets, are they too rich for a scholarship? What about five hundred thousand? You could play this game all day and never find a truly fair line. That’s why there shouldn’t be a line, only those who can play and those who cannot.

Mack Rawden

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.