UCLA players publicly apologize for China theft, suspended indefinitely

The three UCLA basketball players who shoplifted in China walked in wearing UCLA athletic gear Wednesday, but now they are indefinitely suspended from their Bruin basketball dreams.

"I'd like to start off by saying sorry for stealing from the stores in China. I didn't exercise my best judgement," said UCLA basketball player LiAngelo Ball.

For the first time since their arrest, we hear LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley apologize for using a 90 minute team break last week to steal from three stores near their hotel.

Mobile app users, click here to watch the press conference on Facebook.

"I know this goes beyond me letting my school down, I let my country down," said player Cody Riley.

Thank you to the pack 12 and the whole UCLA community that helped us the whole way. And thank you to the United States government and President Trump to help bring us home," said player Jalen Hill.

Coach Steve Alford said the men were suspended indefinitely from the team as the University works through a review process.

"These men are going to have to prove their words and actions that this isn't who they are," said UCLA Basketball Coach Steve Alford.

This isn't new territory for UCLA.

Seven years ago, the university handled a case of three freshman football players accused of theft.

Police say Paul Richardson, Joshua Shirley and Shaquille Richardson stole $1,200 dollars worth of items from a student's backpack.

They were not allowed to continue summer school or enroll in fall classes.

But for now the basketball players are being allowed to continue with their education.

UCLA students say they trust their school will ultimately make the right decision.

I'm sure our school would make the right decision they've been really good thus far on acting appropriately and reporting appropriately on what happened," said UCLA student Haroon Rasheed.

Others say they hope UCLA doesn't suspend them from classes.

They should learn that China is a country where you shouldn't steal. In class. So they should take classes at UCLA," said student Mahala Herron-Rutland.

During the review process, the players will not travel with the team or sit on the bench.

At some point, they might be allowed to join workout but it's unclear when or if that will happen.

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