LaVar Ball Pulls Son LiAngelo From UCLA After Shoplifting Incident, Blames School Coaches
LaVar Ball has decided to withdraw his son LiAngelo from UCLA following an incident in China last month where LiAngelo and two other Bruins basketball players were detained for shoplifting.
LiAngelo Ball shoplifting incident suspension news
The middle Ball son, along with freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, have been suspended and barred from all team activities for stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in the Asian nation during a team trip for an exhibition match.
The incident coincided with President Donald Trump’s visit to China, and thus Trump offered unsolicited help to release the players from jail by speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping. After LaVar criticized the President for meddling in his son’s affairs, Trump lashed out at the former basketball and football star in a series of tweets, calling LaVar ungrateful and saying he wishes he had left guard LiAngelo and his teammates in jail.
In his latest comments on the incident, LaVar now says UCLA’s basketball coaches should be held accountable for the players’ behavior.
“There’s no accountability to them?” LaVar said of the coaches during an interview on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning.
Without naming coaches, LaVar slammed head coach Steve Alford and his staff for placing blame on the players and not taking enough responsibility.
“Let’s stand up to bat (for the players) and say you’re the coach,” Ball told CNN. “Coaches are making enough money. They’ve gotta hold some accountability.”
LaVar Ball on pulling his son off the UCLA basketball team: “That’s one of the main reasons he went to UCLA is to play basketball. That’s his passion. And for them to prolong this and go on and on, it’s ridiculous to me.” pic.twitter.com/5p9otRVzIy
— CNN (@CNN) December 5, 2017
“You shouldn’t hang them on the cross for this long for that,” Ball said. “A kid wants to play basketball all his life. You take that away, that’s worse than jail. Why should we as parents and adults keep jumping on them? It’s not like we’re going through life without making mistakes. … China already forgave the boys. They returned it. Why keep them from playing sports and take their meal passes? You already sent a message. They already apologized. What’s the big deal?”
When the three players returned to the U.S., they were suspended indefinitely and told they would need to earn their spots back on the team.
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 24: LiAngelo Ball #3 of Chino Hills High School shoots the ball during the game against Mater Dei High School at the Galen Center on February 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)