(WCJB) - One of the all-time Gator greats is going to prison.
Former Florida quarterback Shane Matthews has been convicted for playing a part in a healthcare fraud scheme. Last year, Matthews plead guilty to one count of misbranding a drug. He will serve three months in prison beginning June 1st, and will be designated for a facility as close to Gainesville as possible. Then Matthews will be on probation for a year.
He has to perform 50 community service hours, and spend three months as a part of the home detention electronic monitoring program. He also has to pay nearly half a million dollars.
Matthews currently co-hosts a weekday radio program on ESPN Gainesville. He also served as an assistant football coach at Gainesville High School, but his employment ended with the football season and he would not be eligible for re-hire until he completes his sentence.
Matthews has released the following statement, saying:
"In early 2015, I was contacted by my former teammate and friend, Monty Grow regarding a position with his company as a pharmaceutical marketing representative. I took the position, which I had no reason to believe was anything other than a legitimate part-time job.
Unsuspecting, I worked for MGTEN for a short period of time. This job offered me the flexibility I needed to pursue my true passion, which is coaching high school football.
In the spring of 2016, I was approached by the authorities and informed that this was, indeed, a fraudulent operation. Stunned by this revelation, I immediately cooperated with the authorities and offered to give back every cent of my compensation.
I deeply regret getting involved with Mr. Grow’s business. My biggest mistake was not asking more questions in regards to his business practices. I have learned a valuable lesson in the importance of prudent decision making. Going forward, I will be sure to share this experience with the young men I coach so that they might avoid the pitfalls of a mistake this costly.
I accept full responsibility for my role in this operation. The punishment of a brief incarceration pales in comparison to the embarrassment this has caused me, my family, my friends, my team, and the Gator Nation. For letting down all those who have supported me over the years, I offer my sincerest apologies. "
WRUF has also responded, saying:
"Not only is Matthews known as a former three-time All-SEC Florida quarterback, he’s also a radio personality working for ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF as part of the Ackerman and Matthews program that airs from 10 a.m. to noon weekdays. As of now, Matthews has been removed from the program and Ackerman at least temporarily will host the program alone."