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‘Shoplifting’ UCLA Players Return from China; But Their Troubles are Just Starting

UCLA players LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley avoided another day on hotel arrest following their alleged shoplifting charge in China as they arrived at the LAX on Tuesday evening.

ucla players

Jae C. Hong/AP

But their troubles are not over yet as there’s a very big possibility that they will be barred from playing in the tournament ever again.

UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block said they are now reviewing the incident before making a ruling that would be fair to everybody concerned. He said the organization is not taking lightly any violation of the law. It has a responsibility to uphold the highest values and standards, and it expects all members of the campus community to adhere to these values.

“When members of the UCLA family fail to uphold these values, we review these incidents with fair and thorough processes,” he said. “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.”

ucla players

Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG

President Donald Trump himself confirmed that he interceded on behalf of the UCLA players by talking to Chinese President Xi Jinping about their case during the ASEAN Summit held in the Philippines on Nov. 8-10.

He said that he brought the case to his Chinese counterpart. Reportedly, the charges against the three UCLA players have been reduced precisely because of Trump’s intercession. He said that President Xi has been “terrific” even if the subject matter was sensitive considering what the Americans did.

ucla players

Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG

The three players were accused of stealing Louis Vuitton sunglasses inside a luxury boutique. They were arrested inside the hotel where both the UCLA and Georgia Tech teams were staying. They posted bail on Wednesday and were on house arrest inside their Hangzhou hotel. It’s not clear what type of sanction the Chinese government imposed on Ball, Hill and Riley.

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