News outlet scrutinizes Favre scandal involving Mississippi welfare money for stadium

By: - September 20, 2022 6:00 am
Packers quarterback Brett Favre in the pocket during game between the Green Bay Packers and the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York on November 5, 2006. Buffalo won 24-10. (Photo by Mark Konezny/NFLPhotoLibrary)

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, seen here in an NFL photo from 2006, is enmashed in a scandal in Mississippi involving the transfer of millions of dollars in funds meant for poor families to help pay for a volleyball stadium that was a pet project of Favre. (Mark Konezny | NFLPhotoLibrary)

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre is at the center of a Mississippi scandal that involves $5 million in welfare funds used to finance a volleyball stadium. 

On Friday, the Mississippi Free Press published an extensive account of the transactions involved in the scandal. 

The story takes readers through the mounting court records in the case, which began with an investigation by Mississippi State Auditor Shad White. It dives into a civil suit by the State of Mississippi “to recover tens of millions in misspent funds” from Favre and others, including the nonprofit through which Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) money passed, the Mississippi Community Education Center. 

The story publishes text messages included in court documents filed last week that “shed light on how $6.1 million meant for the poorest families in the poorest state wound up going to Favre and a pet project at his alma mater instead,” the Mississippi Free Press reports. That project was an $8 million University of Southern Mississippi volleyball stadium. 

The nonprofit’s director, Nancy New, and her son have entered guilty pleas in the ongoing investigation, the Free Press reports.

“New ran the nonprofit Mississippi Community Education Center when it directed $5 million in Temporary Assistance For Needy Families to The University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation, whose board she sat on, to fund the stadium on the Hattiesburg campus. Her nonprofit also directed $1.1 million to Favre for motivational speeches he never delivered,” the story states.

The Mississippi Free Press is a nonprofit journalism and multimedia website and organization founded in 2020. 


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Erik Gunn
Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary.