Cody Riley and Jalen Hill will not play for UCLA basketball this season.
Coach Steve Alford and Athletics Director Dan Guerrero extended the two freshmen’s formerly indefinite suspension to the end of the 2017-2018 season, per a release from UCLA athletics Friday. Riley and Hill will not be able travel with the team or suit up for home games, but they will be allowed in team practices and meetings beginning Tuesday.
Riley and Hill were arrested during the team’s trip to China for shoplifting, along with LiAngelo Ball, who left UCLA in early December to play professionally overseas.
“While we acknowledge the difficulties that both (Riley) and (Hill) 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,” Guerrero said. “It is our responsibility to help them grow from this situation.”
The Bruins have been using an eight-man rotation, which has caused concern about Alford’s distribution of the minutes – particularly with veteran players Thomas Welsh and Aaron Holiday. The extended suspension means UCLA won’t be able to add Riley and Hill into the rotation, which was Alford’s plan in the preseason.
“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,” Alford said. “The season-long suspension shows how seriously we take their misconduct.”