Diddy's Son Earned Football Scholarship

The parents' financial means should never sway colleges from making offers to high school athletes.

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Justin and Sean Combs (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

In a perfect world, Justin Combs and his father, P. Diddy, would thank UCLA for offering a football scholarship and then instruct the school to use it on another player. Or Justin would accept the scholarship and Diddy would then make a humongous donation that covered the cost and then some.

Either way, the Combses are not obligated to turn down the offer just because they're filthy rich.

Scholarships come in many different forms, including aid based on a student's financial resources (i.e., parents' income). But other scholarships are based on a student's performance, be it in academics, the arts or athletics. Others still are based on any number of factors, from gender to ethnicity to religion and more.

In those latter instances, Tina Turner might ask: "What's need got to do with it?"

Despite objections from headline writers harping on Diddy's net income, Justin has no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed. UCLA wants him to play football there and has demonstrated as much by offering him a scholarship -- the same way it offers scholarships to other athletes, artists and scholars, regardless of their parents' income level.

That's how the game is played in college sports. Schools can't risk losing a recruit they want by asking him or her to foot the bill. That would put schools at a competitive disadvantage in landing the recruit's services, since surely other institutions would gladly offer a full ride.

Big-time schools like UCLA go as hard at one another on the recruiting trail as they do on the field or court. The research, pursuit and procurement of high school athletes has become a multibillion-dollar industry, based solely on physical ability, not financial ability.

Besides, landing the son of an international celebrity is probably worth the scholarship's cost in publicity alone. It certainly doesn't hurt to have such a famous, well-off parent within the university's "family."

Who better to hit up when it's time for a new facility or program?

Justin earned the scholarship through his skill, dedication and hard work on the football field.

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