Recently, Dr. Dre shared that his daughter, Truly Young, was accepted to USC. For any parent, a child getting into college is a moment of pride and excitement. I can remember when college acceptance letters started coming in during my senior year. No matter where they came from–no matter how big or small the school–my dad would immediately pick up the phone and start calling my aunts and uncles to share the great news. He would call my siblings and even church members. My mom would add the acceptance to the church announcements. She wanted everyone to know her baby boy was going places. For some, this can be annoying. I admit there were moments that I thought my parents were overdoing it. I would think “everyone is going to hate us because they’re always bragging on me; I’m not special.” Now that I’m a parent, I realize that I was special. I was special to them and that’s all that mattered. What matter’s even more is that I received the acceptance letters because of them. I grew up in a “regular” family. We weren’t poor or broke but we needed to be smart about how we spent our money. I didn’t receive many hand-me-downs but new clothes were not a frequent occurrence; we received new clothes at the start of the school year and a few replacements as we grew throughout the year. I say all of this because my parents were able to afford a comfortable life for us but buying our way into any school was out of the question. My dad was great about saving for our tuition, and he supplemented what our scholarships didn’t take care of. In some cases, we took out student loans. All in all, my dad’s claim to fame is that all five of his children have (at minimum) a bachelor’s degree. He pushed us to go to school and he pushed us to apply to certain schools. Following the college cheating scandal, Dr. Dre decides to make it clear that his daughter was accepted to USC and there would be “no jail time.” His problematic past notwithstanding, this isn’t a moment that should be stripped from a father. He’s given USC almost $100 million over the last decade and there’s no hiding that. However, universities–elite or not–depend on sizeable donations to move their institutions forward. His ability to make such a sizeable donation doesn’t mean that his daughter didn’t put in the work. As she recently shared, he pushed her to get into USC. This isn’t the same as hiring a company to circumvent the admissions process and taking fake athletic photos for a sport you never played. Dre made a donation to an elite institution in his home state, near his hometown, and he pushed his daughter to apply to that school. As long as there’s no evidence that he made back channel calls to ensure she was accepted, it seems like the admissions process was out of his control. If we find out that Dre was underhanded in some effort to get his daughter in school, let the roast begin. Otherwise, let’s not penalize a proud father for celebrating his daughter’s success and making it clear that she did it the legal way. There’s plenty that one could hold against him; this isn’t it. I’m happy for Truly Young and hope she decides to attend the place that’s best for her.
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