LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Amid questions on whether it’s appropriate for a rich man’s son to receive free tuition, the son of hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is defending the $54,000-a-year football scholarship he received from UCLA.
Justin Combs, 18, says he worked for it, and UCLA is pointing out that athletic scholarships do not come from pools of funds earmarked for poor but deserving students.
UCLA announced on Feb. 1 Combs–whose father’s fortune is estimated at around a half-billion dollars–was among the players signing letters of intent to play for the Bruins.
Combs–a 5-foot-9, 170-pound defensive back reported to have graduated with a 3.75 GPA from New York’s New Rochelle Iona Prep–announced in November that he would attend UCLA, which entailed turning down scholarship offers from Illinois, Virginia and Wyoming.
Combs took to Twitter this week to defend his scholarship.
“Regardless what the circumstances are, I put that work in!!!!” he tweeted Wednesday. “PERIOD.”
“Regardless of what you do in life every1 is gonna have their own opinion. … Stay focused, keep that tunnel vision & never 4get why u started.”
UCLA was quick to defend its decision, saying the money used for Combs’ merit-based athletic scholarship wouldn’t affect need-based scholarships awarded to other students.
Athletic scholarships are “entirely funded by Athletic Department ticket sales, corporate partnerships, media contracts and private donations” and “do not rely on state funds,” university spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said.