Controversial Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly is once again on the attack of rap-related figures by going at Bad Boy Records CEO Diddy’s son, Justin Combs, after receiving an athletic scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Although impressed by Puffy’s son and his accomplishments, O’Reilly feels the scholarship should go to someone less financially inclined.
O’Reilly: “I applaud Justin Combs, number one. I mean, the kid is smart, the kid is a good athlete, the kid’s stayed out of trouble — he could be a crazy guy like so many celebrity daughters and sons are. He’s not. So we gotta give him all the credit in the world. However, his father, Diddy — all right, once the scholarship is granted, once it was granted, and it goes in the records that the kid earned it — should’ve said, you know what, we’re not gonna take it. We’re gonna give it to another kid, because there only are a certain amount of scholarships, even though they’re corporate paid, they are limited, so they should’ve stepped back, paid their own way and let another kid have the scholarship.” (Orlando Sentinel)
Some argue the true issue with Combs’ scholarships relates to how difficult it is for regular high schools students to reach college with limited funding.
Yet, the real source of our national frustration is less glamorous and more widespread. Upward mobility in America is not what it used to be. It’s easier to climb the socioeconomic ladder in many parts of Europe than it is in the U.S., according to recent reports from Brookings Institution, Pew Research Center and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. In other words, today’s aspiring youths on average have an easier time moving up the socioeconomic ladder in many parts of traditionally class-conscious Europe than here in the home of the American dream. Without some schooling beyond high school, it is becoming increasingly difficult to enter the middle class or stay in it. Yet Washington has been gridlocked in budget fights or simply brain-dead about new ideas that can lead to comprehensive remedies. (Chicago Tribune)
Standing behind the scholarship, UCLA officials and even Justin Combs have spoken out.
A UCLA spokesman has already defended school officials’ decision to hand Justin the $54,000 prize – insisting the grant is paid for by ticket sales and not school funds – and now the budding sportsman has taken to Twitter to address the controversy himself. In a series of tweets, the teenager claims he is just as deserving as any other student to receive the grant, and he’s not letting the negative reports interfere with his studies or his athletic dream. He writes, “Regardless what the circumstances are, I put that work in!!!! PERIOD. Regardless of what you do in life every1 (sic) is gonna have their own opinion. Stay focused, keep that tunnel vision & never 4get (forget) why u started (sic).” (SF Gate)
Diddy is known for flaunting his wealth, most notably giving his son a $360,000 present for his 16th birthday.
Of course there’s something more than faintly ridiculous about a student receiving a full ride at a university that, for all four years combined, costs considerably less than the $360,000 car the student got for his 16th birthday. But when colleges give merit scholarships, a rich kid — say, the son of rap star Sean “Diddy” Combs — has just as much right to earn one as a poor kid. (Los Angeles Times)