"I want to start off by saying how ashamed I am for disappointing my family, my teammates, my coaches and the entire UCLA community," freshman Cody Riley said.
Addressing reporters at the university's Pauley Pavilion, Riley, LiAngelo Ball and Jalen Hill offered contrite statements that expressed gratitude to the Chinese authorities and to President Trump, who had intervened on their behalf.
"I didn't exercise my best judgement and I was wrong for that," Ball said. "I apologize to my family, my coaches, my teammates and UCLA for letting so many people down."
UCLA basketball players swarmed by reporters as they return to Los Angeles after spending a week under house arrest in China amid shoplifting allegations. https://t.co/RXAscxPWnP pic.twitter.com/OyQRGiYaJm— ABC News (@ABC) November 15, 2017
While in China for a Pac-12 game against Georgia Tech, the trio allegedly stole sunglasses from a store near their Shanghai hotel.
Hill described his actions as "stupid - there's just no other way to put it."
"I'm not that type of person," he added. "I hope that this mistake will not define me as a person, but it shows I have messed up and can learn from it."
UCLA men's basketball coach Steve Alford said the players have been suspended from the team "indefinitely," pending a disciplinary review process, during which they will not travel to away games or suit up for home games.
"They will have to earn their way back," Alford said.