Marlins sale put on hold with Loria nomination

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MIAMI (AP) — The Kushner family, which has close ties to the White House, has put the brakes on its negotiations to buy the Miami Marlins because of a report team owner Jeffrey Loria may be nominated by President Trump to become ambassador to France.

Joshua Kushner, whose older brother is an adviser to the president, has a preliminary agreement to buy the Marlins. But in a statement released late Wednesday by Kushner’s brother-in-law, Joseph Meyer, the family expressed concern the sale might “complicate” the ambassadorship appointment.

“Although the Kushners have made substantial progress in discussions for us to purchase the Marlins, recent reports suggest that Mr. Loria will soon be nominated by the president to be ambassador to France,” the statement said. “If that is true, we do not want this unrelated transaction to complicate that process and will not pursue it. The Kushners remain interested in purchasing a team and would love to buy the Marlins at another time.”

The New York Post reported Wednesday that Loria, a New York art dealer, is likely to be the next French ambassador. The report named him as one of four people selected by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus for top diplomatic posts.

Loria is a longtime major contributor to the Republican National Committee, which Priebus led until taking the job with Trump. Fundraising records show Loria gave $125,000 last fall jointly to the Trump campaign and RNC.

It has long been a presidential tradition to reward generous political donors with plum ambassadorships.

PRO BASKETBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks is an All-Star again.

The NBA announced that Anthony has been picked to replace Cleveland forward Kevin Love on the Eastern Conference roster Sunday for the All-Star Game in New Orleans.

It’s the 10th All-Star selection for Anthony, and his eighth consecutive.

Love is expected to miss six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee Tuesday. Injury replacements are chosen by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

PRO FOOTBALL

DETROIT (AP) — The Lions have begun a $100 million renovation to spruce up Ford Field, a project that’s scheduled to be completed before next season starts.

Team president Rod Wood says the improvements will make the facility ready to host another Super Bowl. Pittsburgh beat Seattle to win a Super Bowl at Ford Field in February 2006.

Wood says the 15-year-old stadium was due for a significant upgrade.

The highlight of the changes may be 152-foot wide videoboards above each end zone that will rank among the ten largest in the NFL after the original ones were among the league’s smallest last season. The Lions are also renovating 210,000 square feet of space throughout the facility, including its suites and club seats.

UNDATED — Vince Young still isn’t quite ready to call it a career.

The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback has hired agent Leigh Steinberg, who welcomed his new client on Twitter and said Young “has dream of playing more football, being role model.”

Young, who turns 34 in May, hasn’t been on an NFL roster since the 2014 offseason, when he was with Cleveland for two weeks before being released. He hasn’t played in a regular-season NFL game since 2011, when he was with Philadelphia.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Colorado State University looked into basketball coach Larry Eustachy in 2013-14 for creating an atmosphere of “fear and intimidation” among his players.

In documents obtained by the Coloradoan and posted online, Eustachy acknowledged he “crossed the line” and later said he would “go way over the line at times” when asked about the atmosphere within the program by former athletic director Jack Graham.

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