Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre’s charity, Favre 4 Hope, donated more than $130,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation from 2018 to 2020, according to tax filings obtained by ESPN on Wednesday.
At the same time, Favre was trying to raise money for a new volleyball stadium at the university, where he played soccer and his daughter was on the volleyball team. Funds for this stadium will be put under the microscope in the largest public fraud case in Mississippi history.
Favre 4 Hope, which according to its mission statement supports “disadvantaged and disabled children and breast cancer patients”, receives public donations. Tax records show that the foundation donated $60,000 to the USM Athletic Foundation in 2018. Each other organization received $10,000. In 2019, the USM Athletic Foundation received $46,817. The next largest donation to Special Olympics in Mississippi was $11,000. The next year, Favre 4 Hope donated $26,175 to the USM Athletic Foundation, while no other organization received more than $10,000.
Between 2011 and 2017, the year his daughter enrolled at USM, Favre 4 Hope donated a total of $47,900 to the Athletic Foundation. (Tax records were not available for 2016.) When Favre’s daughter played volleyball at Oak Grove High School in 2015, his foundation donated $60,000 to the school’s support group, tax records show. In 2013, the charity received $10,000 from Favre 4 Hope.
“He’s been very generous to Southern Miss since he played ball there,” Favre’s attorney Bud Holmes told ESPN on Wednesday night. “Those special things [the donations in question] I don’t know, but I do know he’s always given something back that most athletes don’t.”
The Athletic first reported on Favre’s charity’s donations to the University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation.
Favre, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is involved in a major investigation into Mississippi’s social spending. According to a state auditor, he received $1.1 million in speaking fees for performances he allegedly never did. He said he didn’t know where the money came from and paid back the money even though the state still demands $228,000 in interest. Text messages show Favre was also involved in diverting at least $5 million in welfare funds to the volleyball stadium.
Favre has not been prosecuted. His attorney previously denied to Mississippi Today that the Hall of Famer knew he was on welfare.
https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/34686830/hall-fame-qb-brett-favre-charity-donated-university-southern-mississippi-athletic-foundation-pushed-state-funds Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre’s charity donated to University of Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation while he pushed for state funds