By: Brendan Moore
Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Brett Favre has been accused of soliciting welfare funds to the volleyball program at Southern Mississippi University where his daughter plays. Favre has been linked to multiple money transfers to the volleyball program.
One accusation of fraud includes a money transfer of five million dollars, initially withdrawn from a welfare fund for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The money was then passed to the volleyball program at Southern Mississippi via a non-profit organization, the Mississippi Community Education Center (MCEC) which at the time was run by a mother, Nancy New, and her son, Zachary. Recently discovered text message conversations between Favre and New in 2017 show Favre questioning New if the media would be able to discover the source of the funds for Southern Mississippi volleyball. Favre states, “If you were to pay me is there anyway the media can find out where it came from and how much?” New’s response states, “No, we never have had that information publicized.”
Another allegation of fraud stems from Favre’s own charity, Favre 4 Hope. The organization aims to assist other charities to aid underprivileged and disabled children, along with those suffering from breast cancer. ESPN and The Athletic acquired the tax records of Favre 4 Hope which show that the charity transferred 130,000 dollars to the Athletic program at Southern Mississippi between 2018 and 2020.
Favre denies any involvement in these transactions, declaring on Oct. 11 that “I have been unjustly smeared in the media.” He continued, “No one ever told me, and I did not know, that funds designated for welfare recipients were going to the University or me. I tried to help my alma mater USM, a public Mississippi state university, raise funds for a wellness center. My goal was and always will be to improve the athletic facilities at my university.”
Along with these accusations of fraud, Favre received large sums of money for speeches and attendances he did not do. These payments include one of 500,000 dollars in December 2017 and another of 600,000 dollars in June 2018. Favre has begun to repay these payments back to the state of Mississippi, but according to the state, 228,000 dollars in interest are still yet to be paid.
Favre’s case has shocked many of his fans, but Favre continues to protest his innocence in his involvement in these scandals. Currently, no legal action has been taken so far in this case.
(Sources: Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, CBS, FOX News, NPR)