In an opinion piece for Ebony, David J. Leonard says that Justin Combs deserves the full ride as much as any other talented student.
The announcement that Justin Combs, son of Sean “Diddy” Combs, would take his talents — on the field and in the classroom — to UCLA has prompted widespread debate (err haterism). Despite excelling on the football field and with his academics, some have questioned whether he deserves or should be given a scholarship, especially in our current economic climate. More than the issue of the cost of collegiate athletics and rising tuition costs, the “controversy” surrounding his scholarship to UCLA comes from a belief that Combs is not entitled to an athletic scholarship because of his father’s wealth.
A blog post — “Should rich kids be ineligible for college scholarships?,” gives voice to those who have questioned the decision from UCLA and the Combs family:
Justin shouldn't keep this money: Here's the bottom line, says Dennis Romero at LA Weekly: "The son of a guy worth nearly half a billion dollars" doesn't need a free ride to college, especially to "a school where student tuition and fees have nearly tripled in the last 10 years." I mean, this is a kid who poses in front of "a $300,000-plus Maybach," likely the car his dad got him on his 16th birthday. Now that's "a free ride that could pay for half dozen full-ride scholarships to UCLA."
The mere fact that this subject to debate on CNN or that CBS affiliate in Los Angeles sent a reporter to ask students their opinion is troubling and points to some larger issues at work.
Read David J. Leonard's entire piece at Ebony.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.
David J. Leonard is an associate professor in the department of critical culture, gender and race studies at Washington State University, Pullman.