Brett Favre Syndication: USA TODAY

The University of Southern Mississippi found itself in the middle of a scandal in 2020 when the news first broke that money used to build a new volleyball facility had come from misappropriated federal welfare funds secured by alumni Brett Favre.

At the time, the school told reporters that it planned to use the facility to help those in need, along with being the home of its volleyball program. However, according to Mississippi Today, which has been at the forefront of this story since it broke, that hasn’t happened.

In the time since this story broke, it became national news and cast a lot of negative attention on Favre and how it appears that he knew he was taking money intended for the state’s poorest and using it to find the volleyball stadium as well as other ventures. Favre’s daughter plays for the USM volleyball team.

While you might think USM would want to figure out how to return the $5 million in welfare funds used to construct the volleyball facility, the school has refused to do so, instead offering this past week to “allow the welfare department to utilize space on campus to provide programming to the underserved community.”

Within hours of that offer, the Mississippi Department of Human Services released its own statement, saying that kind of arrangement would be against the federal laws that govern the funds used.

“As noted in prior audits, use of TANF funds for the construction of brick and mortar building projects has never been authorized by law,” reads the welfare department’s statement. “MDHS cannot accept USM’s offer to utilize the building constructed with TANF funds in lieu of repayment of the funds, because we believe it to be a continued violation of the law and the purpose of the TANF program to help lift needy families out of poverty.”

For now, the volleyball stadium is not included in MDHS’s civil lawsuit against 38 individuals or organizations in an attempt to get back the $24 million in misappropriated welfare funds.

[Mississippi Today]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to