- (Photo: Twitter/Justin Combs)
Justin Combs, the 18-year-old son of hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs who received a full athletic scholarship from UCLA, is firing back at critics who believe he is undeserving of the money since he comes from a wealthy family.
Combs recently graduated from Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, N.Y., with a 3.75 GPA as a 5-foot-9 170-pound defensive back. Although he was reportedly being scouted by schools in Illinois, Virginia and Wyoming, the young Combs decided to attend UCLA. The school recently announced that he would be doing so on a full merit-based athletic scholarship.
However, some questioned whether Combs should receive the expected $54,000, since his father is worth $475 million. CNN posed the question in a segment recently, while New York City's Power 105.1 followed by asking its urban audience if Combs' award was fair to underprivileged college-bound students.
"Regardless what the circumstances are, I put that work in! Period," Combs recently tweeted. "Regardless of what you do in life every1 is gonna have their own opinion. Stay focused, keep that tunnel vision and never forget why you started."
Many people took to Twitter to express their opinions about the matter, after the Los Angeles Times reported that UCLA was a "cash-strapped" school.
"Give to a kid in need," one person tweeted.
Another defended the young football star.
"I don't know why this is even a debate," another person said. "Justin Combs did what he had to and therefore his hard work paid off with a full scholarship to UCLA."
Ricardo Vazquez, UCLA spokesman, released a statement explaining that Combs' scholarship would not take away from those who were in financial need.
"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," Vazquez said in a Los Angeles Times report. "(Combs scholarship is) entirely funded by Athletic Department ticket sales, corporate partnerships, media contracts and private donations" and "do not rely on state funds."
Despite the controversy surrounding his son, Diddy expressed pride in the younger Combs' accomplishments.
"As a parent, this is one of the proudest moments of my life," Sean Combs said in a statement. "This is everything a father could want in his son, for him to excel at what he loves to do."
After initially tweeting about the incident on Wednesday, the soon-to-be UCLA athlete tweeted about being a child of God.
"The devil's number one weapon against a child of God is discouragement," Combs tweeted Thursday.