Fox News host Bill O’Reilly joined in the debate over Justin Combs’ -- Sean "Diddy" Combs’ son -- football scholarship to the University of California-Los Angeles, stating that the athlete should refuse the money and give it to another athlete more financially in need.
O’Reilly began by applauding Combs, who will graduate from Iona Prep in New Rochelle, N.Y. with a grade point average of 3.75.
“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,” O’Reilly said Tuesday on his Fox News program. “He's not. So we gotta give him all the credit in the world.”
However, O’Reilly continued on to say that Sean Combs -- a music mogul worth approximately $500 million dollars -- should set an example for his son by choosing to refuse the scholarship.
"Once the scholarship is granted ... and it goes in the records that the kid earned it, should've said, you know what, we're not gonna take it," O'Reilly said. "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."
UCLA defended their decision to award Justin Combs the money, stating that the funds come from athletic donations and ticket sales, not taxpayer money.
O'Reilly was criticized by the liberal blog, Media Matters, over the TV host's "populist stance":
First off, let's all remember that athletic scholarships are based on merit, not financial hardship. Second, it seems odd -- well, in O'Reilly's case, not so odd -- that Justin is being singled out when there are scores of student-athletes from wealthy, and famous, families who have similarly accepted merit-based scholarships. Indeed, why has there been no similar outrage over Trey Griffey, the son of baseball great Ken Griffey, Jr., who is headed to Arizona this year on a full ride?
Also, on his program Tuesday, his guests Monica Crowley and Alan Colmes said they disagreed and thought Justin Combs had earned the scholarship.
Though Sean Combs has remained silent on the matter, his son recently tweeted about the controversy: “Regardless what circumstances are, I put that work in!!!! PERIOD."
The 20-year-old daughter of Jack Nicholson and Rebecca Broussard has made inroads to follow in her dad's path, already having roles in several hit movies (including Click, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Something's Gotta Give) and serving as Miss Golden Globe in 2007. For now, however, she's keeping a low profile as a student at Brown University.
Theo, Stephen Spielberg's adopted son (he was initially adopted by Spielberg's wife, actress Kate Capshaw, before her marriage to Spielberg, who later adopted him) is currently a senior at Yale University interested in music, comparative literature and journalism -- he interned at New York magazine last summer.
Spielberg's daughter Sasha, 19, studies at Brown University and appears in movies on the side -- she's been in The Love Letter, The Terminal, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Katia Elizabeth Washington And Malcolm Washington
Denzel Washington's daughter, Katia Elizabeth (left), is currently a senior at Yale University. Washington's son, Malcolm, attends the University of Pennsylvania's Arts and Sciences College and plays for the university's basketball team. Above right, Father Denzel watches at one of Malcolm's (inset) basketball games.
Ashley, little sister of Lauren Bush and niece of former president George W., is a junior at Columbia University. Ashley has said that she prefers theater to politics and wants to be an actress.
Burrell, daughter of hip-hop legend MC Hammer, attended the University of Texas at Austin, taking classes during the summer of 2009 to graduate early. She is received a dual degree in radio-television-film and music.
Tiger Woods' niece, Cheyenne, is currently a sophomore at Wake Forest University. When she's not studying psychology, she spends the majority of her time playing -- surprise, surprise -- for the school's golf team. Eventually Cheyenne wants to play professionally, and might be able to -- she recently won her first victory at the Bryan National Collegiate. At Wake Forest, Cheyenne says that the students "don't make a big deal" about her famous (and now infamous) uncle.
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's middle child is currently a freshman at Brown University. Last March, when Demi heard the news, she Tweeted, "Scout is going to Brown next year! So proud she has worked her butt off.”
After graduating from high school with a rating of 100th-best shooting guard in the country as a high school senior by ESPNU, Michael Jordan's son went on to play basketball sophomore at the University of Central Florida. Now in his sophomore year, Jordan caused Adidas to terminate its sponsorship deal with UCF when he refused to wear their shoes, insisting instead on wearing Nike Air Jordans out of loyalty to his father.