Should Diddy’s Son Give Back His 54k Scholarship? I Wanna Know Why School Cost So Much!

Ya gotta love America and the constant mind tricks she plays on an increasingly uninformed, 30 second sound bite, dumbed down, non-critical thinking society.. We see our collective lack of awareness playing out around the son of Sean P-Diddy Combs and his son Justin Combs who was just awarded a an athletic scholarship worth 54 thousand dollars.

When the story first surfaced it was framed simplistically, Justin, the son of a rich rap mogul worth half a billion dollars has just accepted a scholarship to a school that is ‘struggling financially‘. The narrative points out that in recent years tuition has damn near tripled with more fee hikes on the way…On top of that, Governor Jerry Brown is pushing for more massive educations cuts.

Justin Combs who was famously given an expensive 300k Maybach car on his 16th birthday from his dad is now being depicted as the poster child for rich kids stealing from the poor…He’s being criticized for taking a scholarship he earned.

Diddy who has never been shy at flaunting his wealth is also seen as an evil villan who should ante up and ‘pay his fair share’..The popular narrative has led to headlines reading; Taxpayers Want Justin to Give Back His Scholarship..juxtaposed with images of students marching demanding lower tuition..

Justin and his dad Diddy shouldn’t be the poster child for tax payer angst

Understandably many have jumped on this story in reaction to Diddy and Justin. Some have framed this as an attack on Hip Hop or an attack on rich Black men and there’s no doubt there’s some of that going on. Others have viewed this as an attack on student athletes.. I’m sure there’s some of that as well..

But really at the end of the day all this is just a smoke screen to distract everyone from the real problems at hand, which is the systemic attacks and massive defunding over the past 5 years of what was once deemed one of the best and most efficient higher public education systems in the world..

Many have focused on Justin’s scholarship instead of asking how and why did we have a tripling of tuition in the past 5 years? What was behind that?Why does it cost 54 thousand dollars to go to school? Many saw that figure and didn’t bat an eye, that’s how far gone we are….

When I went to school, I was paying 200-500 per semester, 15-20 years later tuition easily eclipse 12k, not including housing or other expenses. This doesn’t include the 6% fee hike coming down the pipe, which may double mid-semester if the Millionaires Tax doesn’t pass in the November elections

Is Diddy and his son the cause of the UC system being financial unstable  or some rich banker types sitting on the UC Board of Regents looking to gut and privatize the UC system? Let’s talk about that..

A bit of background.. 40 years ago Cali came up with what was known as the Master Plan for Education with the goal of making education accessible to what they anticipated would be a surging population caused by baby boomers having kids. Under this plan came three major university / college systems including; the University of California, UC system,which is home to UCLA where Justin received his scholarship. UC has 10 campuses throughout the state..Next we have Cal State University system.. CSU which has 23 campuses including San Francisco State where I teach..And lastly we have the California Community College system CCCS which has over 100 campuses around the state..

Combined these 3 systems serve more than 3 million students and for decades set the standard for public higher education.This Master Plan for Education was crafted so that all Cali residents no matter their income could attend college, hence these schools were either free or very low-cost to attend. How and why did that change is the question at hand?

It’s interesting to note that some of the rich banker/CEO types who sit on the Board of Regents have been pushing to gut the UC system and raise tuition even though they went to UC for free.. How ironic is that?  Forget Justin Combs, let’s talk about some of them. For example, take real estate baron and UC Regent, Richard Blum, whose company Blum Capital Partners is worth 7-8 billion dollars. What Diddy has is pennies compared to him.

Blum who is the husband to US Senator Diane Feinstein, is one of those regents who attended UC for free, but now is leading the charge to raise tuition and privatize the UC system. If thats not bad enough he’s come under fire because of all the money he and his firm have made by investments he has had UC make to companies he and his firm own or have a controlling interest..You can get a quick summary of that HERE .

You can also peep the in depth investigative reports about how Blum and his companies have profited off of UC pensions HERE ….

Conflict of interest doesn’t even began to describe what Blum’s about, but that’s been all but ignored by many of the same folks who wanna go on and on about Diddy’s son. One might suggest that if Justin Combs should give back scholarship because his father has more than enough money to pay, then perhaps Richard Blum should refrain from making any more investments that have ties to UC, because with a company worth 7 billion, he has more than enough money.. How much more does he need to make?

There would be no outcry over Justin’s scholarship if folks doing the crying looked at the half a billion dollars spent on renovating Cal’s football stadium. It’s the most expensive renovation in college history and sadly that stadium still sits on a major earthquake faultline..We all should be asking, who in the UC system or on the Board of Regents benefited from that? Certainly not the students who marched, protested and even sat in trees for almost a year to try and stop the rebuilding of that stadium..

While this stadium was still being built and struggling to raise additional money for its completion,  the Board of Regents proposed to raise tuition almost a whooping 80% over the next 2-3 years.. This outraged students and led to huge protests throughout the UC system..Where thousands of students led walkouts, teach-ins and marches etc.. The first glimpse many around the country got of these protests was last fall when they saw disturbing footage of peaceful students being peppered sprayed at UC Davis and police beating peaceful students at Cal

Sadly as these students were getting peppered sprayed and beaten up you heard some of the pundits who are now attacking Combs, implying the students who were protesting were lazy bums who needed to get a job.

Is Justin Combs and his father Diddy the culprit here? Not by a long shot..That young man earned an athletic scholarship. I’d rather have the medias focus on guys like Richard Blum and his Board of Regent 1% cohorts.. Yeah I know it’s not sexy and easily packaged, but that’s where the money really is..

I’d rather we focus on the Millionaires Tax of 2012 which will help turn back some of the budget shortfall impacting the UC system. Let’s talk about all the big banks that have lined up to oppose it. Perhaps they’re upset about losing out on some of the trillion plus dollars students wind owing in school tuition loans..

Should Justin give back the money? Only if Richard Blum and his fellow Regents give back the obscene money they made off of UC and they resign from the regents.. At that point we can call it even Steven.

written by Davey D

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. You are correct in that Justin Combs’ scholarship is a non-issue. It’s an athletic scholarship, so if UCLA deems him deserving of it to play on their team, it’s his and bravo.

    As far as the cost of tuition rising in California, A college education has turned into another means of income for hundreds of very rich people. Why wouldn’t they look to exploit it for their own interests? They don’t care where their students come from as long as they get their share of the money those students bring in. It’s easier to scapegoat a rich famous person than it is to actually take the institution (in this case, the UC system) and hold them accountable for the increasing nonavailability of education to the people it was intended for.

  2. If he is worthy of a scholarship and has the money to attend and play then he should pay to attend. Full scholarships should go to people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford attending.

    • Sara why is a university that was once free now costing 54K to attend..seems like quite a few people should be giving money back..

  3. Ann Nony says:

    No one got out on the field and play his position but him, therefore, he EARNED his scholarship that was given to him because he is seen as someone that will be an asset for the college. Everyone is at this you man’s head because HIS FATHER is wealthy, that’s not his fault. His father even said he would give a full ride scholarship to someone less fortunate. It’s more than disappointing to keep seeing this same headline about “giving the money back” but absolutely disgusting that adults have lost focus on this situation by looking at it in a negative light instead of being happy one of our youths has completed a high school education, did damn good holding down a gpa of 3.75, and is headed to college. This is one of the biggest problems within our communities. smmfh…Congrats Justin!

  4. It’s the same here in the UK. Why are fees so expensive. Nobody is looking at this .. Why is that?

    Justin didn’t just turn up and was given the spot either. I think people need to calm down and really assess the situation for what it is.

  5. Swedish Reader says:

    I agree, the real problem is that education is seen as a profitable business rather than a longterm investment in society.

    This made me think of Matt Taibbi again (you reposted an article by him a while ago), because I read a book by him a few months ago called Griftopia, mainly about the 2008 financial breakdown but by extension about the larger crisis, the madness of maximizing profit at any cost. I don’t know anything about Wall Street but his analysis seems fundamentally solid to me, and above all it’s very easy to read and even entertaining. Sometimes his language is hyperbolic which I find a bit alienating but I think that’s part of what makes the writing accessible even when the topic is very dense, and also it’s a technique many Americans seem to use to cut through the white noise that surrounds them.

    Just a thought.

  6. Hello… I believe both sides are wrong.

    First, it is a parents dream to be able to support their children through college. But if I was wealthy, I would be happy to pay out of my pocket and let the scholarship go to someone that really needs it.

    Second, we have let LAUSD and The college board of regents destroy our education system! Money for our children has be thrown away on letting illegal immigrants coming here and use up all our resourses. The rich are not being made to pay their fair share! It has nothing to do with color or race, it has to do what is best for the country! We need more taxpayers, and not more dependants!

  7. Karen Washington says:

    No, he worked for it so it belongs to him. This sounds like the plan of Romney for our country. What a mess.

  8. Matt White says:

    very interesting article, i appreciate you sharing

  9. The reason tuition is so high is because the “theater” of a degree and the perception around it has in large part taken precedence over any tangible skills that have market demand. I’m not including people who study to be doctors, lawyers or engineers etc (I think even the number of doctors per x number of patients in the U.S. is something like number 50 in a list of industrialized nations. The U.S. might be below Estonia and some other places you wouldn’t expect. This has to do with having poor public early grade and high school ecosystems). But anyway,not everyone should be getting a college degree. The debt incurred especially at some private schools is a complete joke. But as long as people are willing to do it then the reality is that a market “demand” exist. I really don’t think most people go to college as an investment, they go to college for the “experience”. Like Disneyland….or playing football on a scholarship. The good news is there is a very scattered (and confusing) movement online to circumvent some of this and drive the cost down. Personally I would like to see an explosion of boutique colleges focused on specialization. I think that would be nice and there is a bubbling market demand and a huge business opportunity for this.The reason cost has gotten out of control is a lack of entrepreneurs willing to build alternative colleges that don’t adopt the legacy model of the 20th century. Of course there are probably laws that simply undermine this is many ways, but I think there is a lot of opportunity there regardless. So far the private college market has been dominated by bloated corporations. I think you could build private sector schools that are very humble in origin and undermine much of this and still make a profit, it’s just the sums of money that people are willing to pay for “fluff” is very seductive to businesses – especially when you have government loans that pay for it, which Obama is trying to reign in. Of course we could all encourage the dismantling of the military and put all that money into free education across the board, but we all know that won’t happen.

  10. these are two separate questions…One is why does College costs continue to go up. The second is Shud a Rich Kid take a Scholarship.
    For the Second question, give the kid big-time credit for going out and EARNING the scholarship, it means way earning it than just another gift. If rich father wants to donate or create a scholarship in family name with some of his millions, good for him, but its his choice. Its a shame that all the media attention goes to the wrong place.

  11. Davey D made the heading link bait (as always) by focusing on the “Diddy wealthy scholarship” story as a catalyst to promote his personal political views (as always) . He doesn’t even remotely touch upon why or how education in the U.S. is the way it is or where it’s truly going.He simply supplements proactive self-actualized potential that exist around us with fear mongering, helplessness and pointing out the hypocrisies of policy makers. It’s sensationalist trash.

  12. mike myers says:

    anybody know the latest on the innercity broadcasting situation? out of nyc seems like peppy sutton and keisha sutton are closed lipped as to what is happening there, I keep hearing magic johnson is a big player in the takeover, and I have also heard that magic johnson doubled crossed the sutton family and national black congressional caucus into thinking he was going to save the company, but instead got ron burkle to break it and make it bankrupt, I need some clarification on this situation about innercity broadcasting corp.

  13. Tophamm Hatt says:

    Why is school so much? Because the government provides student loans and the universities know this. It has been impressed into peoples’ heads that they HAVE to go to college. With those two facts, universities can and will charge as much as they want. Professors will continue doing research while teaching assistants do a heavy load of the teaching. Research generates money for these univerisites.

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