The three UCLA players that were arrested in China have been released on bail, according to a report from ESPN.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were arrested and questioned about shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store next to the hotel that the team where the team was staying in Hangzhou, China. The rest of the team left for Shanghai on Wednesday morning, while head coach Steve Alford reportedly remained behind until the players were bailed out.
All three were asked to remain at the hotel in Hangzhou until the legal process is completed. Alford told ESPN that the trio will not be playing on Friday night when the Bruins square off with Georgia Tech.
LaVar Ball is currently in China, where he has reportedly traveled to Shanghai with the rest of the team and his family. He was scheduled to speak with the media on Wednesday, but was advised by his legal counsel not to. He released this statement: “It is a very unfortunate situation that the Ball family and UCLA has to deal with at this particular time. We will comment shortly.”
“We are aware of a situation involving UCLA student-athletes in Hangzhou, China,” UCLA said in a statement released on Tuesday. “The University is cooperating fully with local authorities on this matter, and we have no further comment at this time.”
“We are very disappointed by any situation that detracts from the positive student-athlete educational and cultural experience that this week is about,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement that was released late Tuesday night. “Whether in the United States or abroad, we expect our student-athletes to uphold the highest standards. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Besides for the UCLA arrests, local Chinese police also looked into Georgia Tech players during their investigation. According to a report from Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, three members of the Yellow Jackets were questioned by police on Tuesday, but they were later released. The three Georgia Tech players questioned and cleared by police include sophomore Justin Moore and freshmen Jose Alvarado and Jon Brown.
Georgia Tech released its own statement on the matter on Tuesday.
“During the questioning, it was determined that Georgia Tech student-athletes were not involved in the activities being investigated,” the statement said. “They will rejoin the team on Tuesday and resume their scheduled activities in advance of Saturday’s season opener vs. UCLA in Shanghai.”
Sugiura also reports that local police inspected the UCLA team bus in the cargo component as players waited to attend practice. Because of the police delay, UCLA players got off the bus and went back into the hotel. More police then arrived at the hotel to conduct interviews with the suspects.
Georgia Tech’s practice schedule was also changed as players from the Yellow Jackets started an unscheduled study hall instead of taking a bus to their practice. The three Yellow Jackets questioned by police were not present during that study hall, according to Sugiura.