UCLA has announced that freshmen basketball players Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, will be suspended at least through the end of the 2017/2018 season, a report says.
Riley and Hill were the two players arrested with LiAngelo Ball after being charged with shoplifting from several stores while on a team visit to China.
UCLA coach Steve Alford praised the players for working to put the arrests behind them but noted “actions have consequences,” ESPN reported.
“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,” 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.”
The players are barred from traveling with the team or suiting up at home games but will be allowed to continue practicing until the school decides to end their “indefinite” suspensions.
“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,” said Bruins’ athletic director Dan Guerrero. “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.”
LiAngelo Ball announced that he was quitting college at the behest of his father, LaVar Ball. The senior Ball said that LiAngelo and his youngest son, LaMelo, would play professionally in the Lithuanian Basketball Federation after signing the young men for a one-year contract with the league. The news of the Ball brothers’ move to Lithuania met with raised eyebrows, at least with ESPN’s Mike Golic who wondered just what Mr. Ball had gotten his sons into.
However, now that it’s clear that Ball, like Riley and Hill, would have been suspended for the entire year. LaVar Ball’s decision to pull his son out of UCLA and sign him up to play in Europe, makes a lot more sense.
LiAngelo and LaMelo are the younger brothers of Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball.
LaVar Ball made more news this week, as well, insisting that he was going to start a brand new basketball league for high school graduates who don’t feel the need to go on to college.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.