China al­lows UCLA play­ers to go home

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - SPORTS -

Three UCLA play­ers de­tained in China on sus­pi­cion of shoplift­ing have been al­lowed to re­turn home, where they may be dis­ci­plined by the school as a re­sult of the in­ter­na­tional scan­dal.

Fresh­men LiAn­gelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Ri­ley landed in Los An­ge­les late Tues­day af­ter­noon af­ter a 12-hour flight from Shang­hai. Pac-12 Com­mis­sioner Larry Scott said the mat­ter “has been re­solved to the sat­is­fac­tion of the Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties.” The Pac-12 is leav­ing dis­ci­pline up to UCLA.

The play­ers were de­tained in Hangzhou for ques­tion­ing fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of shoplift­ing last week be­fore the 23rd-ranked Bru­ins beat Ge­or­gia Tech in their sea­sonopen­ing game in Shang­hai as part of the Pac-12 China game. The rest of the UCLA team re­turned home Satur­day.

UCLA Chan­cel­lor Gene Block said the school is weigh­ing its op­tions.

“I want to be clear that we take se­ri­ously any vi­o­la­tions of the law,” he said in a state­ment. “In this par­tic­u­lar case, both Ath­let­ics and the Of­fice of Stu­dent Con­duct will re­view this in­ci­dent and guide any ac­tion with re­spect to the in­volved stu­dents. Such pro­ceed­ings are con­fi­den­tial, which lim­its the spe­cific in­for­ma­tion that can be shared.”

The school said the three play­ers, along with coach Steve Al­ford and Ath­letic Di­rec­tor Dan Guer­rero, will make their first pub­lic com­ments about the mat­ter at a cam­pus news con­fer­ence today, but won’t take ques­tions.

Scott thanked Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, the White House and the State Depart­ment for their ef­forts in re­solv­ing what he called “the in­ci­dent with au­thor­i­ties in Hangzhou, China.”

Trump, speak­ing to re­porters on Air Force One, said the play­ers’ ac­tions were “un­for­tu­nate.”

■ Ge­or­gia Tech star Josh Oko­gie will serve a six-game sus­pen­sion, while team­mate Tadric Jack­son must sit out three games for ac­cept­ing ben­e­fits in vi­o­la­tion of NCAA rules. Oko­gie and Jack­son al­ready missed the Yel­low Jackets’ sea­son-open­ing loss to UCLA, stay­ing home while the team played in China.

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