LOS ANGELES - Three UCLA basketball players accused of shoplifting in China are back in Los Angeles this morning.
Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill did their best to avoid cameras as they walked out of LAX Tuesday night.
They were arrested last week and questioned on suspicion of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store.
Sources say the players are not facing charges.
However, it's not clear if that's because there wasn't enough evidence or because President Trump intervened.
He said earlier Tuesday he had asked his Chinese counterpart to help in the case.
"What they did was unfortunate. You know you're talking about very long prison sentences" Trump said. "They do not play games. It's a very, you know, it's a very very rough situation with what happened to them. And I was with him, yes he is.He's been terrific. President Xi has been terrific on that subject. But that was not a good subject. That was not something that should have happened."
Larry Scott, Commissioner of the Pacific 12 Athletic Conference specifically thanked President Trump in a statement regarding the release of the three players.
We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played. We also want to acknowledge UCLA's significant efforts on behalf of their student-athletes. Finally, we want to thank the President, the White House and the U.S. State Department for their efforts towards resolution.
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block also released a statement, which in part addressed possible punishment for the players.
I want to be clear that we take seriously any violations of the law. 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.
Block says those proceedings are confidential so it could be a bit before we learn of any consequences.