UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero and Men’s Basketball Coach Steve Alford announced today that freshmen Cody Riley and Jalen Hill will be suspended through the end of the 2017-18 season.
The UCLA press release states:
While Riley and Hill will not be permitted to travel with the team or suit up for home games, they will be allowed to participate in team practices and meetings beginning December 26, 2017. This decision operates in conjunction with any disciplinary decision rendered by the University's Office of Student Conduct. The details and results of the Office of Student Conduct process will remain confidential, per University policy and student privacy laws.
The release included statements from both Guerrero and Alford. Guerrero said:
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. 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.
Cody and Jalen are a part of our basketball and university families, and we will continue to support them as they serve their suspensions. 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. 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.
Overall, the length of these suspensions seems right. This length is also what most of the greater UCLA community felt should be the absolute minimum length after the players, including the now-departed LiAngelo Ball, admitted their guilt in the incident.
An unscientific Bruins Nation poll of readers, which ran from November 21 until December 5, showed that 38% of our readers felt the players should be expelled while 33% thought they should be suspended for the entire season. Only 6% supported reinstating them immediately while 22% thought that half the season/until conference play began was the right penalty.
With the full-season suspension now announced, it makes sense as to why LaVar Ball would convince his son LiAngelo to leave UCLA for Lithuania, even though no NBA team has LiAngelo on their radar.