2:35 PM -- UCLA coach Steve Alford has addressed Gelo's departure, saying “We learned today of LiAngelo Ball’s intention to withdraw from UCLA. We respect the decision he and his family have made, and we wish him all the best in the future.
It's a stunning move ... LiAngelo Ball will no longer be on the UCLA basketball team and, in fact, he will not be a student at UCLA ... because his father, LaVar Ball, is removing him from the institution ... TMZ Sports has learned.
As you know, LiAngelo was indefinitely suspended from the team after he stole from several stores during a trip to China. LiAngelo was placed on house arrest but was sprung after Trump and others went to bat for him.
We're told LaVar believes the suspension was unfair, especially since the charges were dropped. LaVar's people tell TMZ Sports the famous dad thinks, "There's no need to break down a kid's spirit for making a mistake."
Our sources say LiAngelo is not officially withdrawn from the school but he's at home and will not return to UCLA.
LiAngelo was a freshman and never actually played a game for the team.
A family spokesperson added LiAngelo and Lavar appreciate UCLA for everything ... despite the circumstances that led to the suspension.