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Published on June 10, 2024
Howard University Scraps Diddy's Honorary Degree & Shuts Down Funding Amid Assault Video ScandalSource: HOTSPOTATL, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a decisive response to a surfacing assault video, Howard University has severed its ties with Sean "Diddy" Combs, pulling back an honorary degree and shutting down financial engagements connected to the hip-hop heavyweight. The unanimous decision by the university's Board of Trustees came shortly after footage revealed Combs attacking Cassie, a recording artist and his former girlfriend, as reported by Chicago Tribune. The disturbing video, which surfaced via CNN, displays an altercation dating back to 2016. The university's board said in a statement, "Mr. Combs' behavior as captured in a recently released video is so fundamentally incompatible with Howard University’s core values and beliefs that he is deemed no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honor."

As a result of this disassociation, Howard University is returning a $1 million gift, dissolving the scholarship program in Combs' name, and nullifying a pledge arrangement with the Sean Combs Foundation. The school aims also to expeditiously remove Combs' name from any documents that list honorary degree recipients, a significant backtrack from the accolades previously granted. This information was elaborated on by CBS News, indicating that the institution seeks to firmly to uphold its core values in light of the revelations.

Combs' admission to the assault, which he expressed remorse for in a social media statement, has not mitigated the swift institutional repercussions. "I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now," Combs stated. While Combs has apologized and mentioned seeking professional help, the broader circumstances have led to a lawsuit last year by Cassie, legally known as Cassandra Ventura, which has been settled amid public allegations against Combs.

While the full ramifications of this incident continue to unfold, its impact is resonating beyond individual contrition. Organizations and institutions are increasingly called to reassess associations with figures embroiled in controversy, especially when actions blatantly oppose their fundamental principles. Howard University, in this instance, sends a clear message of intolerance for behavior that conflicts with its code of conduct, opting to sever ties swiftly with Combs and reinforcing its stance on upholding integrity and respect within its community.