Brett Favre pledged to donate money to build a new volleyball arena at Southern Mississippi, his alma mater. Instead of his own funds, he managed to get ahold of nearly $5 million in welfare funds to build the arena. It’s small part of a welfare fraud case that saw $70 million — in the USA’s poorest state — that were diverted away from the families that need it.
While $5 million of the funds went to the arena, Favre himself received $1.1 million for public speaking appearances that were never made. The NFL hall of fame quarterback also received $2 million for a pharmaceutical start-up that he had invested in. Favre has already reimbursed the speaking engagement money.
This all came to light as a result of text messages between the former director of Mississippi Department of Human Services, John Davis, the former governor Phil Bryant, and Favre himself. Davis made a plea deal with the federal Department of Justice that led to these text falling into the hands of federal investigators.
According to the DOJ’s announcement, Davis directed his office to provide “federal funds to two nonprofit organizations and then directed the two organizations to fraudulently award contracts to various entities and individuals for social services that were never provided.”Charles Robinson, Yahoo Sports
Favre has danced around scandal after scandal with an awe-shucks, good ol’ southern boy, personality and an ability to talk himself out of trouble. This is not sexual harassment (via unwanted dick pic), this is a violation of federal law that he was privy to and helped facilitate instead of using his own personal resources to help complete the arena. It is a blatant disregard for the law and what it’s supposed to do because they simply didn’t want to follow it.
There is a debate about the funding and use of university funds for college athletics, as well as diverting donor money to these side projects, but this is above the pale. This isn’t money that was earmarked for Southern Miss., this was money that was supposed to benefit the state’s poor citizens that was diverted to a university with an endowment of around $100 million.
It’s absolutely disgusting, and should land the NFL legend in a federal penitentiary.