The Justin Combs UCLA Scholarship and Football Fallacies


Justin Combs’ scholarship to play football at UCLA has received scrutiny. I detailed the hypocrisy of said outrage


, which I obviously encourage you to read.

I defended the UCLA athletic department vis a vis Jim Mora’s decision to extend the Semper Fidelis All-American (and honor student) a scholarship offer based on his athletic and academic potential. The latter is particularly noteworthy to me, given the complaints critics of college football lob against it as anti-intellectual.

As to the former, Combs had offers from Virginia and Illinois. This is hardly a Romeo Miller situation; Combs is a skilled recruit who would be a BCS conference talent no matter if his dad was a music mogul, or a hot dog vendor. And that’s a valuable lesson to bear in mind, the sport does not discriminate.

Aside from Combs hardly being the first student-athlete from a wealthy and/or famous upbringing offered a scholarship, the Los Angeles Times quotes Ricardo Vazquez saying:

"“[UCLA athletic scholarships are] entirely funded by Athletic Department ticket sales, corporate partnerships, media contracts and private donations…[they] do not rely on state funds.”"

In the same report, Vazquez points out that student activities increases were also not factored into athletic scholarship costs; another highly significant point that needs shouting from the rooftops.

Further, with athletic scholarships partially reliant on private donations, having the Combs family in the mix is likely a huge boon for UCLA. Much has been in the last 24 hours about Sean Combs’ lavish parties and expensive cars, but little of his philanthropic work.

Ultimately, it’s a ridiculous argument that has already had too many words devoted to it. However, that seems to be a common theme of off-season football discussion. Time to dust off an old favorite:

Blame it on boredom. Blame it on an ever-expanding news pool, between 24-hour television networks and the internet. Whatever the cause, hysteria based on misconception is the norm. The month of May made that abundantly clear, from the college football ban debate to conference realignment. Make an assertion, and it becomes fact — or, at the very least, a valid enough point that it deserves more than immediate dismissal.