Justin Combs and the cyclical effect of athletic scholarships

Following in the arrogant footsteps of his dad, Young Diddy has compared himself to Asante Samuel and Darrell Revis…I’ve only seen him play in 1 game last year so it’s still too soon for me to try to judge his skill set…but it’s his athletic prowess and stellar academic achievement earned him a full ride to UCLA…he begins his official audition for the NFL this fall…yet all day, people on blogs and Twitter were debating the fairness of Young Diddy getting a free ride, in spite of who his father is.

For starters, black people are always mad about something…remember that hoodies up movement? Yeahhh…Justin signed his letter of intent back in February….so technically this is not news…secondly, Justin is not the 1st celebrity kid to be accepted to a institution of higher learning because he earned it…many football greats, including Barry Sanders, Joe Namath, and Joe Montana have sons who have received merit-based athletic scholarships.  Nobody seems to want to acknowledge that these kids, despite their ostentatious lifestyles, handle their business in the classroom as well…Justin had many offers from other schools and he’d previously stated that he’d love to play at Florida…ultimately his 3.75 GPA opened the doors of UCLA to him…I find it funny that Barry J. Sanders didn’t catch this much flack for choosing Stanford at the Combine a few months ago.

The people who were complaining and unnecessarily criticizing were the people who probably don’t even watch college football, thus having no idea how the recruitment process works…the fact is universities recruit celebrity kids to recruit celebrity parents…when people think of Diddy, they think of what a marketing/branding genius he’s become…ook at what he’s done with Ciroc in less than a decade! Having Justin attend UCLA could potentially mean thousands of dollars coming in to the athletic department and university as a whole through endowments…Diddy brings the type of attention that will transcend just sports networks…right now, the only UCLA alumni currently in the NFL that you’d readily know are Khalil Bell, Maurice Jones Drew, and Mercedes Lewis…the most notable alum of my time is Troy Aikman…if, huge if, Justin Combs does wind up being consistently good enough to go pro, then both parties won.

At the end of the day, merit-based and needs-based scholarships are strategically given to keep the balance of the NCAA somewhat level…many athletes that receive full rides are both merit- and needs- based…I view college recruitment as 2-fold; D1 schools seek out young men that can be model students and continue to help the school fiscally…and celebrity kids are sought out based on the expectation that whatever money the school gives the kid, it’ll come right back into the pool for future recruits.

So if the son of 1 of hip hop’s biggest earners can do that, he shouldn’t be vilified because you didn’t teach your kid to read a book. I’ll leave this Diddy Sr. ad-lib for you to pontificate on “You think I’ma come this far, and let you niggas stop me now? I hate you too!”


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