Justin Combs, son of ‘Diddy,’ criticized for accepting $54,000 football scholarship

Sean “Diddy” Combs arrives on the red carpet for the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Feb 26 in Hollywood.</p>

Sean “Diddy” Combs arrives on the red carpet for the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Feb 26 in Hollywood.

The son of hip hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is attracting criticism for accepting a $54,000 athletic scholarship from UCLA, Reuters reported. Justin Dior Combs, who will be a defensive back on UCLA’s Division I football team starting this fall, is one of about 285 students to earn a full ride to the university this year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A private school grad with a 3.75 GPA, Justin was also offered scholarships at Illinois, Virginia and Wyoming, the LA Times reported.

The 18-year-old doesn’t need financial aid. His father has a net worth estimated at $550 million, according to Reuters. Justin reportedly drives a Maybach car worth about $360,000.

Now critics are questioning whether it was appropriate for him to accept the scholarship – or for UCLA to have awarded it to him.

"Unlike need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability, and not on a student's financial need," UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said in a statement, according to the LA Times.

Vasquez told the LA Times that money used for merit-based athletic scholarships does not come from state funds and is not drawn from the same pool as need-based scholarships, so it does not reduce the money set aside for needy students.

Yet, blogger Jay Anderson argued on TheGrio.com, "by taking a scholarship that he earned, but could likely afford on his own, (Justin) Combs is taking a spot away from a player who might elect to go elsewhere ... which in theory would hurt the team as a whole.”

After a CNN ran a story on Justin’s scholarship, the teenager defended himself on Twitter, Reuters reported. "Regardless what the circumstances are, I put that work in!!!! PERIOD," he tweeted.

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