HATTIESBURG, MS—Defending his decision to divert millions in government funds to a sports center at the University of Southern Mississippi, Brett Favre told reporters Thursday that he actually used state welfare money to build a shelter for homeless volleyballs. “Sadly, the media is accusing me of stealing money from the poor, when in reality, I was using that money to construct volleyball courts to help some of the most vulnerable and disenfranchised sports equipment in our state,” said the former NFL quarterback, adding that the $5 million sports complex was specifically designed to give Mississippi volleyballs a safe environment where they could rest, find a support system, and, someday, with hard work, maybe even make it to the Olympics. “As a proud Mississippian, I promise all these welfare funds will be used appropriately to provide nets and courts to the poorest volleyballs in the nation’s poorest state. Many of these less fortunate volleyballs have led difficult lives in which they have been bumped and spiked into submission. Today, with the help of these funds, maybe the volleyballs can heal.” At press time, Favre blasted the release of text messages between himself and former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, claiming that a volleyball at the welfare office had assured him everything was above board.