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UCLA defends scholarship for Diddy’s son

Justin Combs AP

Sadly, UCLA has felt compelled to defend something that doesn’t need — or, rather, shouldn’t need — any type of defending in the first place.

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, there’s a bit of an asinine controversy brewing in California involving the son of millionaire hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs.  In February of this year, Justin Combs signed a Letter of Intent with UCLA and will play football for the Bruins on (gasp!) an athletic scholarship.

For whatever reason, some taxpayers in the state in which UCLA is located have decided that, because of the amount of money Combs’ father has acquired in his lifetime, the cornerback should turn over the $54,000 scholarship to a student who needs it more.  As we wrote earlier today, the argument appears to be that the family should be compelled to pay for his schooling regardless of the athletic merit that led to the scholarship offer in the first place.

In response, UCLA released a statement this afternoon addressing, in broad, non-specific terms, Combs’ situation as it pertains to athletic scholarships vs. need-based assistance/scholarships.  Hopefully this will be the last we hear of this absurd, contrived controversy.

Here’s the statement, in its entirety:

Like all other UC campuses, UCLA has a robust financial aid program to ensure that students from all economic backgrounds have access to the university.

Approximately 30 percent of all revenue generated from fees and tuition is set aside for financial aid. In addition, the university’s Blue and Gold Plan ensures that students with financial need from families with incomes below $80,000 a year pay no tuition at all.

At UCLA, 47 percent of California-resident undergraduates (42 percent of all undergrads) receive enough grant aid to cover all of their system-wide fees and tuition. In fall 2010–11, 41 percent of UCLA undergraduates were low-income Pell Grant recipients. In fact, UCLA enrolls more low-income Pell Grant recipients than all Ivy League schools combined.

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.

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.

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19 Responses to “UCLA defends scholarship for Diddy’s son”
  1. fitz66 says: May 31, 2012 8:39 PM

    If this kid ever gets a job, are people going to scream that he should work for free an that his daddy should pay his salary? C’mon…

  2. brewcrewfan54 says: May 31, 2012 9:14 PM

    He earned the scholarship so he should keep it if he wants. Hi dads money is his dads. Maybe Mr Combs told his son that paying for college was up to him because he wanted to teach him about money. That being said, if Mr Comba was going to pay for his sons education if he didnt get a scholarship maybe they could give it bAck so someone else in more need could use it. Even if dad does pay it doesn’t take away the fact that the son earned that scholarship.

  3. showerswithsandusky says: May 31, 2012 9:28 PM

    Combs getting signed by UCLA was a PR move by the Bruins. And a smart move too. The kid is a nice player but lacks major D-1 talent. Recruited mainly by small schools. UCLA is hoping that the “Diddy” brand will pay off by bringing not only attention but future talent to the program. Diddy’s kid will hosting all the hot recruits on official visits.

  4. dawglb says: May 31, 2012 9:42 PM

    I don’t know anything about this kid’s talent level. However, if he is a legit D1 player, then he deserves a scholarship if the program so chooses. If he couldn’t start at a D3 program, then there is an issue.

  5. iplaybad says: May 31, 2012 9:57 PM

    Lots of very wealthy white people have kids who get full ride scholarships to state and private schools to play a D1 sport (golf, distance running, tennis, and basketball are primary examples). Yet, no one barks about them needing to “give back” their scholarships. If a kid gets an offer to play big time ball that he/she accepts, so be it. Hopefully the younger combs doesn’t get his Maebach messed up in Westwood!

  6. metalhead65 says: May 31, 2012 10:25 PM

    although I have no use for what his father does for a living(age thing) I am pretty sure no coach is going to give a free ride based on a kid’s last name.he is good enough or they would not have given it to him. sure his dad could pay for it but why should he?just like nobody gave his dad his money he had to earn it also, so he should be proud of his son for doing the same thing in reaching his goal.

  7. raider2124 says: May 31, 2012 10:27 PM

    He’s 5 9 170 He went to a small prep school and was an average player. If not for his name he would never have been offered a scholarship. He will transfer after 1 year because he will never see the field at ucla.

  8. spankygreen says: May 31, 2012 10:44 PM

    May 31, 2012 10:27 PM

    He’s 5 9 170 He went to a small prep school and was an average player. If not for his name he would never have been offered a scholarship. He will transfer after 1 year because he will never see the field at ucla.

    STUPID, STUPID Comment…… Dexter McCluster, 5’8″ 170……..KC Chiefs professional football player……pretty good one at that. If you can play the game, and obviously this Combs kid can otherwise UCLA would not have offered a scholarship……..He was recruited to play football, not act, rap or be a member of the school of drama at UCLA, so his name had little or nothing to do with going to the University…

  9. raider2124 says: May 31, 2012 11:02 PM

    Spankygreen. Kids get offered scholarships to kids who can’t play all the time. You name one player who is 5 9 and that means this kid can play. That’s stupid. He is more like 57 150 he cannot play at this level and didn’t deserve the scholarship. The talent level he played against was weak at best

  10. latchbeam says: May 31, 2012 11:20 PM

    California libtards… scholarships to athletes as long as they aren’t rich!?

  11. whodoes says: Jun 1, 2012 2:32 AM

    I live in Los Angeles. I have barely heard of this supposed criticism other than when hearing the massive outpouring of outrage in backlash over the supposed initial outrage. As near as I can tell, this started with a gossipy UK newspaper story, some snark on a blog from the LA Weekly, and a random CNN video “think-piece” that simply recycled what they had read. This is little more than a meta-controversy that goes to show what little there is to talk about in the sports world right about now (and what little utility CNN has as a news organization in the US these days).

  12. 49ersgiants4life says: Jun 1, 2012 2:35 AM

    Obviously the people weren’t thinking of all the donations that Diddy will probably make to the school now that will probably pay for a couple scholarships.

  13. seanb20124 says: Jun 1, 2012 4:45 AM

    So UCLA is free if your parents make less than 80K? I don’t believe that.

  14. imforbigblue says: Jun 1, 2012 8:07 AM

    Kid is living off daddy’s name and ucla plans on cashing in on it now. For all the ppl who think this kid is some kid of stud look at the other schools who offered him and then thinking ucla really thinks he will play for them.

  15. cbaber26 says: Jun 1, 2012 8:22 AM

    The amount of money that puffy will donate to ucla will pay for his sons scholarship ten-fold

  16. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 1, 2012 10:11 AM

    P Diddy will donate (as cbaber26 said) as well as hold numerous paaartees! with limos, liquor and food catered, get a luxury box, pay huge taxes on all that, and support the jobs of numerous people.

    The added taxes and economy that P Diddy and entourage will bring to The Rose Bowl and to UCLA will greatly more than pay for the small amount of scholarship his son earned and will earn by playing football for the Bruins.

  17. kozbee says: Jun 1, 2012 11:59 AM

    To all you fine taxpayers in California,who knows you just might win a National Championship someday.Why should it matter 11 percent on the dollar, y`all paying for the better things in life in sunny California.Thats why the Deficit is so high in America,spend,spend,spend.Congrats Justin on that scholarship.

  18. joshm5683 says: Jun 1, 2012 12:19 PM

    I don’t think people really would care if he earned the scholarship and if he was athletically gifted then I’m all for it. Looking at his HS stats though he was far from a D1 prospect. I think its a shame that they put the kid through this, but hes listed as a CB/WR I believe and his stats were pretty subpar. It also isn’t like he is an athletic freak either. Either way, this is why USC will continue to dominate UCLA and UCLA will continue to tread water in mediocrity.

  19. tarr123 says: Jun 5, 2012 5:28 PM

    ….. and as soon as it comes out that diddy has donated millions of dollars the lames will say he bought his sons scholarship

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