Justin Combs is just like every other promising young football player who dreamt of one day earning a college scholarship.
He wakes up in the morning as the doves serenade him, pulling off his 12,000-thread silk sheets as he leaps out of his Alaska King-sized bed, which is like a California King, only bigger. He slips on his Burberry robe and goes into his bathroom, where his servant Theodore hands him a moist towelette before he readies himself for the day.
Combs drives to school in his Maybach - no, wait, he's driven - all the while texting Usher, Justin Bieber and Barack Obama about their dinner plans that evening. He arrives at school and the cheerleaders throw rose petals at his feet, and he travels from class to class on a Razor scooter with 22-inch rims, and when it comes time for football practice, he has a stand-in tackle for him.
Practice over, he heads to his own personal locker room, dresses in his Armani suit, clasps his diamond-encrusted Patek Philippe watch and heads out for dinner with Bieber and the boys before returning home to study.
Ha, study. Right.
He has Stephen Hawking take his pop quizzes.
This is how we imagine it, right, the life of a gajillionaire rap mogul's son?
All glitz and glamour and no grind.
This is why there is so much uproar in recent days over Lil' Diddy, the prodigious offspring of the everlasting Bad Boy For Life?
People hear about his $54,000 scholarship
Justin Combs is not Diddy Combs, or P. Diddy, or Puff Daddy, or Puffy, or any of his father's iterations.
He is an 18-year-old kid who can play a little football, honed his skill and talent, worked hard in the classroom - maintaining a 3.7 GPA - and was rewarded for it.
No different than the son of a banker or an accountant or a dentist or a farmer or a custodian.
Athletic scholarships are not based on financial need, they are based on merit and, well, the coach's opinion.
After all, Rick Neuheisel deemed Combs worthy of one of the 85 that UCLA offers per season, and new Bruins coach Jim L. Mora followed through on the commitment. Combs' affinity for UCLA was so strong he even verbally committed between the tenures of the two coaches, after Neuheisel was fired and before Mora was hired.
And for this, he is raked over the coals, and it isn't the first time it has happened at UCLA.
Neuheisel's own son, Jerry, was lambasted with accusations of
The difference here, though, is as clear as the two sons' offer lists.
Neuheisel was a lightly regarded quarterback prospect out of Loyola High, with offers from just lowly Idaho and UNLV after an injury-riddled senior season. Bruin fans were surprised when he was offered a full scholarship, and that surprise was only eclipsed when it turned out the kid could play during April's spring ball after he sat out last season.
That's not the question with Combs.
Despite a slight frame - the incoming cornerback stands just 5-foot-9, 170 pounds - Combs boasted offers from Iowa, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Illinois among others, and if that list is not quite so overwhelming, consider the Bruins were defeated by the Illini 20-14 in December's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
No, Combs' credentials are not being scrutinized, but his father's bank account is.
Forget the ancillary benefits provided by his famous father. Apparently those don't matter.
Ignore it when Diddy goes on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and talks UCLA football, shouting "Go Bruins!" while throwing up his fists.
Forget all that.
Hey, I have an idea.
The Rose Bowl is undergoing massive renovations. Maybe Diddy can just pay for it himself.
The Diddy Bowl kind of has a nice ring to it.