Illiberal Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves suggested that he isn’t pleased with the notion that Jackson State could possibly fund a proposed football stadium using taxpayer dollars.
When asked Friday about a documented welfare money scandal involving retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre and former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant allegedly desiring to use $5 million in funds meant for poor and disenfranchised families to build a volleyball stadium at the University of Southern Mississippi, Reeves explained that federal or state monies shouldn’t fund such projects.
“I don’t know all the details how that came about,” Reeves said. “What I do know is that it seems like an expense I wouldn’t publicly support using TANF dollars. I don’t even like the state building stadiums with general tax dollars.
“I’m not real excited about Jackson State building a football stadium. At most of our universities, they build stadiums through donations of alumni.”
Asked about USM’s volleyball stadium in H’burg funded w/ $5M welfare funds, Tate said: “I’m not real excited about [HBCU] Jackson State building a football stadium.”
Tate said to fundraise. Coach Sanders already donates half his salary for stadium repairs.pic.twitter.com/DYEsxChQnS
— When is Lynn Fitch’s press conference? (@jallen1985) September 16, 2022
Why Reeves mentioned Jackson State, a school that has been historically underfunded by the state, in response to a question about a federal money laundering operation, is misguided at best.
For years, Jackson State officials have been attempting to secure funding to build a stadium for its football team, preferably close to or on its own campus.
Jackson State most recently conducted a feasibility study on the matter, according to the school’s strategic plan announced in 2021.
A state Senate bill introduced that would have provided $40 million to JSU in its efforts to build a stadium did not advance past a legislative session.
Jackson State had hoped to construct a stadium within the next five years, athletic director Ashley Robinson previously told a local Jackson TV station last October.
“This is not my first process of building a stadium, but it is a process to get everything that you need, but we want a stadium that best fits Jackson State University,” he said then. “We want a stadium that fits our alumni and supporters, and we want a stadium to make sure our fans have a great time.”
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