UCLA Chancellor Gene Block has issued a statement on the release of LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill.
Block’s statement as reported by the Los Angeles Times:
To the Campus Community:
I know many of you have heard the news over the past week about three of our men’s basketball student-athletes who were detained by police in connection with a shoplifting incident in China. Since that time, our primary focus has been on bringing our students back safely, and I am pleased to report that they are now returning home.
I would like to express my gratitude to all who helped us get to this point. I also want to acknowledge everyone who wrote or called to express their thoughts and concerns. We have heard and appreciate everyone’s views. I want to be clear that we take seriously any violations of the law. We remain one of the world’s top academic institutions in large part because of our values and standards, which we work hard to infuse throughout our campus community.
When members of the UCLA family fail to uphold these values, we review these incidents with fair and thorough processes. 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. Such proceedings are confidential, which limits the specific information that can be shared.
Our primary concern remains the safety and well-being of all members of our community, particularly our students. I am grateful they are headed home.
It’s worth noting that, at this point, Block is placing the responsibility for the consequences the players will face on the Athletic Department and the Office of Student Conduct.
So, at least partially, what happens next is up to Dan Guerrero and it should be...interesting...to see how Dan handles this.
Make no mistake. At the very least, Guerrero needs to suspend them from the team for at least this entire season, although each of them should probably be prohibited from wearing a UCLA uniform ever again.
They caused an international incident.
That should magnify the circumstances. Guerrero should look at this as “What would the department have done if these three went into Beverly Hills and did that?” and then he needs to increase the penalty because it was an international embarrassment to both UCLA and the Pac-12.
Whether or not, the players are allowed to continue to be UCLA students will fall to the Office of Student Conduct and that’s a completely different animal.
Obviously, this situation isn’t over just because the players will land at LAX later on today.
A press conference is scheduled for 11 am tomorrow where the players are scheduled to make their first public statement since being arrested.