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Opinion: Blame the arrest of three UCLA basketball players in China on the greed of college athletics

UCLA basketball players Jalen Hill, from left, Cody Riley and LiAngelo Ball.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: UCLA deserves a large measure of blame for the arrest of three of its basketball players in China for allegedly shoplifting in a Louis Vuitton store. (“Trump asked Chinese leader to help resolve case involving UCLA basketball players,” Nov. 14)

He may be able to slam-dunk a basketball, but what is a 17-year-old boy like Jalen Hill doing wandering around Hangzhou, a teeming city of 9 million people, apparently with insufficient adult supervision? And all to play a game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai?

This is just another example of how our sports-and-money-crazed universities, supposedly temples of learning, exploit student athletes, corrupt the institutions’ mission and demean our culture.

Al Ramrus, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: The arrest of three UCLA basketball players in China got me thinking: It’s almost laughable when American teenagers experience another culture in which bad behavior has consequences.

American teenagers learn that there are few if any consequences for bad behavior. Ask any school principal — it’s almost impossible to suspend a student for bad behavior.

It must be quite an educational experience to learn that not all cultures are the same.

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David Waldowski, Laguna Woods

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