China allows UCLA players to go home
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.