- The three UCLA basketball players arrested in China spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time about the situation.
- The players have been suspended “indefinitely.”
- The school is now mulling how long the suspensions will be and “major donors” have reportedly called the school to express their thoughts.
The three UCLA basketball players arrested in China and charged with shoplifting, have returned to the United States.
The trio escaped a potentially major punishment in China with some help from President Donald Trump. But now they are still waiting to find out the extent of punishment they will receive from the school, and it sounds like it could be lengthy.
According to Arash Markazi of ESPN, UCLA is weighing suspensions that range from a half-season up to the entire season. To make matters more complicated, “major donors” have called the school to give their thoughts on the matter.
“Sources told ESPN that university officials are debating whether to suspend LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill anywhere from half of the season up to the full season. Multiple major donors have called the school with their thoughts on the situation, according to sources.”
It is unclear if the donors are angling for longer suspensions to send a message, short suspensions to protect the team’s hopes this season, or a mixture of both.
As Markazi notes, one factor UCLA must consider is that if the players are suspended for an entire year, one or more of the players could choose to transfer.
The three players held a press conference late Wednesday morning in which they spoke about the incident publicly for the first time. All three players thanked several people, including Trump.
The three players were expected to remain in their hotel in China for up to two weeks as they waited for their case to be resolved. They were sent home, however, shortly after Trump made a personal plea to President Xi Jinping of China to assist in the case.