The non-Ball-family participants in the infamous China shoplifting incident that eventually led to LiAngelo Ball leaving UCLA have been suspended for the remainder of this college basketball season, according to ESPN:
“Since returning from China, they have done everything asked of them and continued to work hard in the classroom and in their own personal workouts,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said in a statement Friday. “I’ve told our players all along that actions have consequences, and the season-long suspension shows how seriously we take their misconduct. Though they will not suit up for games or travel with the team, I look forward to their return after the Christmas holiday. I am confident that they will make significant contributions to the university moving forward.”
“While we acknowledge the difficulties that both Cody and Jalen have faced since returning to campus, we also know that their actions in China were contrary to the values of UCLA and harmful to both the university and our basketball program,” Dan Guerrero, the Bruins’ athletic director, said in a statement. “As members of the Bruin family, it is our responsibility to help them grow from this situation. We will continue to support them as students, as athletes and as young men, and we hope that they will use this as a learning experience.”
The two players, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were arrested in China along with Ball for shoplifting from high-end retailers located near the team’s hotel in Hangzhou. Interestingly, the incident has not triggered their removal from college and relocation to a tiny Baltic outpost, to play for a team whose recruiting push was the international basketball equivalent of me sliding into Kim Kardashian’s Twitter mentions. It just makes you wonder whether these young men’s parents are taking their futures seriously enough.