By: Michael Collins
Sean (Puffy, Puff-Daddy, P-Diddy, Diddy, or whatever the name is this week) Combs son, Justin, was offered a full athletic scholarship to UCLA as a football player, and it took about 30 seconds for the plastic outrage from California taxpayers to rear it's ugly head.
Justin is receiving pressure from the citizens of California to refuse the $54,000 per year scholarship he has received from UCLA: their reasoning is that the scholarship should be given to students who need it more since his father is one of the wealthiest music moguls in the world. Shame on you California.
There is no denying that Justin's father could afford to pay for his college expenses. My question is, why should he have to? If Diddy were a wealthy white CEO, and Justin was being offered a golf scholarship, do you think anyone would be complaining? Since that very scenario happens all the time, and never gets any notoriety, then my guess is no.
My feeling is the people who are shouting the loudest about this non-issue really could care less about who gets the scholarship money, as long as it doesn't go to someone associated with the hip hop lifestyle, and all that comes with it. I don't think it's a racial issue as much as it is a cultural issue. If this were Darius Rucker's kid, we'd never even have a story here.
The other big problem with this is, it's not even taxpayer's dollars that are paying for Combs' ride. UCLA football scholarships are provided directly from the athletic department, and from money raised by that department. If Combs weren't receiving this money, then it would only be given to another football athlete. It's not given on a "need basis" as state scholarships to non-athletes are.
And let's face it, UCLA isn't exactly tearing up the PAC-12 with their football program. They aren't really in a position to be giving away freebie scholarships to people who aren't deserving. They need all the help they can get on the field to win games. If they offered Combs this free ride, my guess is that he's a heck of a football player.
Personally, I'm not a fan of the hip hop culture. I find the way they often flash their money unnecessary, and the way they glamorize violence, and the culture that is prevalent in much of the music offensive. However, my feelings towards a particular lifestyle should have no bearing on who does or does not receive scholarship assistance. I'm sure there are a lot of struggling black students who can't understand why Joe Montana's son was given a scholarship.
I applaud Justin Combs for blazing his own trail, and not becoming dependent on his father's wealth. He could very easily sit back and do nothing (or worse) until his father eventually gave in to nepotism and made him a paper vice president in his company. Instead he has chosen to go to college, and to make a name for himself. We should be celebrating this young man's hard work rather than trying to thwart it based on who his father is.
Michael Collins is a contributor to DailyShootout.com, and is currently the featured columnist covering the Atlanta Falcons on RantSports.com. You can follow Michael on Twitter @GaSportsCraze and visit his website at www.gasportscraze.com