Should Justin Combs Accept His $54,000 Scholarship?

Justin Combs playing American Football for Semper Fidelis

Justin Combs was offered a performance-based scholarship to UCLA, and many people are saying that he should return the money and pay for the college education. This is because his father is Sean Combs AKA P Diddy/Daddy (He changes his name every other day) who reportedly has a fortune of over $500 Million and is the richest man in hip-hop.

So should he give it back? Well let’s look at the facts. This was a performance-based scholarship, it was not financial aid (Not that Justin Combs would’ve been eligible for it anyway). A representative from UCLA released this statement:

“There is a big separation between financial aid based on need and how that’s funded and how athletic scholarships are funded and awarded to students,” the rep explained. “Unlike need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability – not their financial need.”

He has therefore earned the right to go to college for free, and it has got nothing to do with his father being extremely rich. He graduated from New Rochelle Iona Prep in New York with a 3.75 GPA, and got a free ride to UCLA on a $54,000 football scholarship. He also got scholarship offers from Illinois, Virginia and Wyoming, but chose the prestigious University of California instead. This shows that Justin Combs must have extraordinary talents to receive so many offers and he fully deserved the scholarship which he was awarded.

But many people are saying that his father can easily afford to send his son to college and they should refuse to accept the scholarship on these grounds. They are also claiming that Combs accepting the scholarship could mean that people who cannot afford to go to college may be denied the opportunity as he has taken their place. This is American taxpayers’ money and many people think that it is highly unfair that their money is going towards the education of someone who doesn’t need it. This is why there is so much uproar. Because American citizens believe that this is their money. But it isn’t. In UCLA’s statement, they went on to say:

“Athletic scholarships, such as those awarded to football or basketball players, do not rely on state funds. Instead, these scholarships are entirely funded through UCLA Athletics ticket sales, corporate partnerships, media contracts and private donations from supporters.”

Although it is no longer American taxpayers’ money, it is still potentially preventing another graduate from going to college. Someone who didn’t quite make the cut, but is still very talented.

Yet, I cannot help but feel that Justin Combs is being treated unfairly. It is irrelevant whether his father is worth half a billion dollars, he has earned the right to go to college for free. Yes he can go on a paid basis, but it was his hard work and dedication which caused the array of universities to offer him a free education. The universities did not look at who his father was when they offered him the $54,000 scholarship and neither should we now he has been given it.

Justin Combs is his own man, and his father’s work or fortune should not overshadow his clear sporting prowess in American Football, or his academic talent with his GPA of 3.75. Therefore, in my opinion I think that he should accept the scholarship, and the media have been very wrong in asking him to return it. He should reap the benefits of the years of hard work which he has had to put in. Yes this scholarship may be nothing more that a trophy for Justin Combs, but it is a trophy for which he has worked, and he deserves.

Feel free to leave any comments below. I’ll try and reply to them promptly.

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Chris Hayes caused a ‘firestorm’ in the American media- But was it justified?

I know that I’m a few days late on this story, but whatever.

So Chris Hayes claimed on his MSNBC show that he felt ‘uncomfortable’ calling American troops heroes. Obviously this set off a media frenzy in which the press claimed that Hayes was ‘unpatriotic’, and ‘disrespectful to the fallen.’

Yet if we listen to what he said, both of those things are questionable. The latter certainly seems to be in serious doubt. A link to the video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUJu8Ac5-b4

Now the media have proved time and again that they have very selective hearing and it seems to be the case here too. Hayes repeated that he was not questioning the valour of the individuals’ lives spent and lost in war, rather questioning whether the motive was a worthy one. He quite clearly repeats that this opinion is not an attack on the heroics of the troops abroad: “I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism: hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that.” He was therefore trying to question whether the loss of these lives was necessary, but could not articulate his opinions into a manner in which that message was clearly conveyed. This seems to be the root of the problem.

On the other hand, why bring this up on Memorial Day Weekend? A day where America is supposed to unite as one, and remember the troops fighting in wars around the world, the fallen and their families. I’m not American, so I’m no expert, but this is surely a catastrophic error of judgement on Chris Hayes’ part. Why would he say something like that, in a statement which puts pressure on a thesaurus, and says one thing, but then discards it for another? The main reason of why it was such a huge story was because of the timing. I’m not supporting his opinions, but the fact is that this story would not have been so big if it was on any other weekend in the year. He said: “I feel comfortable, ah, uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”Now don’t get me wrong here, I have very strong feelings towards the way America just invades other countries for personal gain, but quite simply, Chris Hayes is just wrong. Giving recognition to these people is the bare minimum of what they deserve and glorifying them does not give anyone ammunition to justify wars.

And this view, not on Memorial Day Weekend, but on any day is just completely disrespectful. How can he question the hero-status of the troops who risk their lives every single day, thousands of miles away from their families, so he can sit safely in his big office and sleep with peace of mind at night?! Surely he needs to question the political regimes which keep sending these men to war. The men and women are not to blame, or have any part in the decision of whether they will have to risk their lives over and over again for their country. They do whatever it takes to protect their country, and if they aren’t heroes, then I don’t know who is. We should not only feel comfortable, but proud to call our troops heroes, not just in America, but here in Britain too.

Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think!