“If It Wasn’t For HBCUs I Wouldn’t Be Here” | Rapper Mogul Sean Diddy Combs Makes Good On $1 Million Pledge To Jackson State Athletics Program 

At last year’s BET Awards rapper/mogul Sean Combs aka Diddy received the Lifetime Achievement Award for all he’s accomplished in the music industry.

During his acceptance speech a very excited Diddy pledged money to several HBCUs, including Jackson State, and his alma mater Howard. At the time the Tigers were being led by Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. 

With Sanders now onto greener pastures at Colorado, Diddy still kept his promise. On Saturday night as the Tigers faced the South Carolina State Bulldogs in the 2023 MEAC/ SWAC challenge to kick off the college football season, Diddy showed up to present the Tigers the $1 million check he promised them in June 2022. 

Diddy Credits HBCUs For Playing Role In His Success

Combs, who attended Howard prior to getting his big break in the music industry, has always showed admiration for HBCUs. In talking with ESPN, Diddy mentioned why he donated the money to the school’s athletic program. 

“If it wasn’t for HBCUs, I wouldn’t be here,” Diddy said. “Supporting HBCUs is not just my honor, but responsibility. What they’re doing at Jackson State needs to be commended.”

Jackson State athletics director Ashley Robinson, who’s become arguably the top AD in the HBCU world, was there to receive the check. Robinson did the unthinkable in hiring Sanders in 2020 to lead the football program. That move led to unprecedented success, with Sanders leading the program to a 27-6 record, two SWAC championships, and two Celebration Bowl appearances. Robinson also promoted JSU alumnus T.C. Taylor to head coach when Sanders left for Colorado in December.

Taylor Thanks Diddy For Donation

In Taylor’s first game his Tigers picked up where Sanders left off, dismantling the Bulldogs 37-7. Following the huge win, Taylor thanked Diddy for the huge gift to the program. 

“We are extremely appreciative of the gift that Diddy has provided for Jackson State football,” Taylor said. “For someone of the global magnitude of Sean Combs to believe in Jackson State is legendary. His investment will help the continued elevation of JSU Football to the next level of greatness, players. For them to see you close and personal on our sideline one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs was significantly impactful for our program.”

Back to top