Ex-Marlins pitcher off to prison

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A pitcher on the Florida Marlins team that won the 2003 World Series has been sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for taking part in an insurance scam.

The Palm Beach Post reports Justin Wayne and his brother, Hawkeye Wayne, also paid $3.8 million in reimbursement Thursday after pleading guilty to health care fraud. Hawkeye Wayne received a five-year sentence. They don’t have to report to prison until March and their sentences could be reduced after they testify against the scam’s alleged ringleaders.

The brothers owned a testing lab. Prosecutors say a drug treatment center brought them patients’ urine samples for unneeded testing. They billed insurance companies and then kicked back part of the proceeds.

The Hawaii native pitched for the Marlins from 2002 to 2004, posting a 5-8 record and a 6.13 ERA.

PGA Tour stop loses title sponsor

LA QUINTA, Calif. — The PGA Tour event in the Southern California desert in January will be played as the Desert Classic after losing its title sponsor.

The event returns to the name used when it first began 60 years ago and comedian Bob Hope’s name was attached.

The PGA Tour said Thursday that CareerBuilder has decided not to return after three years as title sponsor. It says the tour and local organizers are working to secure a new sponsor for 2020 and beyond.

Historic female football player ill

SANTA FE, N.M. — A former University of New Mexico kicker who was the first female to play and score in a Division I football game faces months of recovery after becoming seriously ill from an adverse reaction to a prescribed medicine.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the family of Katie Hnida says the 37-year-old’s condition has stabilized but that she might need a liver transplant.

Hnida played three seasons, from 2002-2004, with New Mexico.

NCAA overturns Ole Miss penalty

OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi won part of its appeal of NCAA sanctions against the football program, with a committee overturning the penalty restricting the school from hosting unofficial recruiting visits.

This season’s bowl ban and other penalties still stand. Some of the penalties for recruiting rules violations against the program were self-imposed by the school.

The university announced Thursday the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee’s decision. The appeals group said the infractions committee abused its discretion when prescribing the penalty, restricting unofficial visits. The appeals committee said the penalty was “based in significant part on one or more irrelevant or improper factors.”

Prince-inspired uniform shown

CHANHASSEN, Minn. — The Minnesota Timberwolves are paying tribute to Prince with a purple-highlighted uniform.

The team Thursday unveiled Prince-inspired City Edition uniforms. The new look uniforms were created in collaboration between the Timberwolves, Nike and the Prince estate.

The new jersey includes a paisley leaf in tribute to Prince’s Paisley Park studio, the letters “MPLS” recognizing the Minneapolis Sound and purple touches.

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