Friday, June 1, 2012

Internet shoots down the one critic of Justin Combs' UCLA football scholarship

I’m trying to find out who is criticizing UCLA for awarding Justin Combs, son of Sean Diddy Combs, a football scholarship.

I first saw the topic on Thursday's "Pardon the Interruption,” when the hosts, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser, blasted the unidentified critics.

For the record, I agree with "PTI." Justin Combs should keep it. But I still want to know who thinks UCLA should give it to someone else. Because for all the backlash on TV and the Internet, there has been little mention of whom the commentators are arguing against.

Plenty of websites and tweeters are referring to the Internet blowing up (Forbes), a fuse to an online public debate (Los Angeles Times) and a lot of scrutiny (Bleacherreport).

But only one cultivated a specific example.

KLTA-TV 2, CBS’ Los Angeles affiliate, aired a story about Combs’ scholarship with some man-on-the-street reactions. Student Neshemah Keetin said: “UCLA’s athletic department needs to consider the fact that perhaps there is another athlete on the football team who could perhaps really use this scholarship.”

That’s it? One student giving an opinion while walking across campus is causing the Internet to blow up with public debate and a lot of scrutiny? 

Chances are you’ve been the subject of a crowd-sourcing story like this before. A reporter from a media outlet stops you out of the blue and asks you about the topic of the day. You think about it for about 5 seconds, mutter through a few sentences and move on.

Not in this case. Keetin is apparently the “some” and “critics” all the tweeters and bloggers are referring to, because they’re not citing anyone else. Not hundreds or thousands of people. Just her.

This is a controversy that should have never existed, but people piling on to the non-existent opposition have made it into one.

This situation was best summarized by the headline on a blog by SB Nation’s Jason Kirk: “P. Diddy's Son Should Give Back His UCLA Scholarship, Says Pretty Much Nobody.”

-         -  Howard Primer


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