3 UCLA players face punishment at home after China incident

 

Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting returned home, where they may be disciplined by the school as a result of the international scandal.

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley arrived at Los Angeles International Airport late Tuesday afternoon after a 12-hour flight from Shanghai. They ignored reporters’ shouted questions while making their way through a horde of media outside and getting into a van that took off from the departure level.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the matter “has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities.”

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

A person with knowledge of the Pac-12’s decision said any discipline involving the trio would be up to UCLA. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the conference doesn’t plan any sanctions.

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.”

There was no immediate word on the trio’s status for the team’s home opener Wednesday night against Central Arkansas.

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 Wednesday, 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.” He indicated that UCLA made “significant efforts” on behalf of its athletes.

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