Rick Neuheisel: Diddy Combs' celebrity led to son's UCLA offer

Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said Tuesday that musician Sean "Diddy" Combs' celebrity status led to the Bruins offering his son a scholarship.

Combs was arrested Monday after school police said he attacked a UCLA staffer with a kettlebell (similar to a dumbbell) at the Bruins' athletic training center. Representatives of Combs say the music mogul was acting in self-defense.

Coachingsearch.com reported that Neuheisel said on SiriusXM's "College Sports Nation" radio Tuesday that UCLA athletic personnel didn't want to press charges, but once UCLA police were involved, it was out of their hands.

Coachingsearch.com also reported that Neuheisel offered some insight into the recruiting of cornerback Justin Combs, the musician's son, saying it was "doubtful" he would be playing at UCLA if not for his father's fame.

"I took them on their campus tour," Neuheisel reportedly said. "A half-hour into it, (Diddy) asked me who I was. He said, 'Tell me what you do, Rick.' I said, 'I'm the head football coach here.' He said, 'You're giving us the tour?' I said, 'Absolutely, this is my school. This is where I went. I want to give you a feel of what it's like to be a student.' ...

"When you're weighing the assets of what a youngster can do for your program, there's no question (being Diddy's son) had something to do with it for me. Justin is a great kid. His problem was his size. He's not big enough (Combs is 5-foot-7 and has played almost exclusively on special teams) to be a dominant player. Could he be productive? Yes. The fact his father was an influential guy played into my decision to go ahead and offer him."

Neuheisel, a UCLA alum, was the Bruins' coach from 2008-11. Combs signed with UCLA in February 2012 and had committed to UCLA before Neuheisel was fired.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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