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Some Question Iona Prep's Combs' UCLA Scholarship

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Justin Combs, an Iona Prep football star and son of rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, signed to play football at UCLA in early February . Now, some controversy surrounds Combs’ receiving an athletic scholarship, in light of his father’s wealth.

The rapper had an estimated net worth of $550 million as of April, according to Forbes. Some have questioned whether Combs should forgo his $54,000 scholarship because of his father’s wealth, but the 18-year-old took to his Twitter account Wednesday to defend himself.

“Regardless what the circumstances are, I put that work in!!!! PERIOD,” Combs tweeted.

Another tweet read, “Regardless of what you do in life every1 is gonna have their own opinion. Stay focused, keep that tunnel vision & never 4get why u started.”

UCLA also released a statement Wednesday to explain that Combs’ scholarship and other athletic scholarships do not affect the need-based scholarships that other students receive.

“Unlike need-based scholarships, athletic scholarships are awarded to students strictly on the basis of their athletic and academic ability, not their financial need,” the statement read. “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.

“Each year, UCLA awards the equivalent of approximately 285 full athletic scholarships to outstanding student-athletes. The scholarships are used by the UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to pay students’ tuition and fees, as well as room and board. In this respect, UCLA is no different from the overwhelming majority of Division I institutions.”

Combs played cornerback and quarterback for Iona Prep. He and the Gaels reached the semifinals of the Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AA playoffs. The three-star recruit finished the season with one interception and four passing touchdowns.

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