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Joe Ovies

'Summer of P.J.' left Williams with no choice

Posted July 29, 2013

University of North Carolina head men's basketball coach Roy Williams didn't suspended P.J. Hairston on Sunday night because of speeding. Williams suspended his leading scorer because the totality of Hairston's summer shenanigans left him with no other choice.

Taken individually, Hairston driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone on southbound I-85 would elicit a giant shoulder shrug. Like we've never dropped the classic "going with the flow of traffic" line after being pulled over by a state trooper? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And when it doesn't, pay the fine or fight it in court to keep the insurance costs from spiking.

However, this was Hairston's third such car-related incident since May and the first transgression since Williams released a statement discussing punishment without actually administering any. 

Let's rewind to July 15, when Williams finally said something about Hairston's June 5 arrest for misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving without a license. 

"P.J. and I have had several discussions already and he knows he has made serious mistakes and there will be serious consequences as a result," said Williams. "Certainly the idea of suspending P.J. has been discussed. However, he is not currently enrolled in summer school, is not practicing with the team and we have no games until November."

At the time, Williams was right in not adding anything tangible to his words. Durham authorities dismissed those charges a week after the statement because Hairston showed proof that he had a driver's license and had completed a drug assessment program. As for the rental cars and his connection to Haydn “Fats” Thomas, the NCAA will eventually put it on their weighted scale of justice.

Williams' statement also acted as the new baseline for Hairston to maintain. All he had to do was keep a low profile between now and the start of the basketball season, serve some sort of punishment and everyone will move on with their lives.

Well, so much for that idea. 

There have been a handful of comparisons between Hairston's series of miscues and those of former North Carolina basketball player Will Graves, who was eventually booted off the team after he broke enough team rules. However, there is one fundamental difference between Hairston and Graves. One player is essential to the success of the Tar Heels next season and projected to be in the NBA, while the other was not.

Just how much more will Williams tolerate? Only the coach knows, but his patience for handling talented players with a dumb decision streak is certainly being tested at the moment.

In the unlikely scenario Hairston finds himself off the team, it won't be because of simple traffic violations or a questionable relationship with a local party promoter with a penchant for fancy cars. It'll be because he decided to go about being "that dude" instead of heading the warning of his coach.

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  • antoniolawrence05 Jul 31, 10:58 p.m.

    This Self -destructive Behavior P.J. is showing is a cry for Help and the decision he is making and who he is hanging around with leads to nothing to a dead end of Wasted life and Talent,I am from NewYork city and played against some great players Who Had There College, Pro careers derailed because of bad choices and the people they Let in their inner Circle I am a Carolina Fan for a long time and I also did some things in college and Played Basketball also, P.J. has to learn Now his Life and choices must change. And coach Roy needs to sit him for the 2013-14 season to help him Understand that theses Choices he is making Does Not Show the true North Carolina Tradition and he is Blessed to Play for such a Great school and having His scholarship is Special because Most college students have to pay back Loans so sitting him this season we and might save his life down the Road.

  • Sauras69 Jul 31, 7:35 p.m.

    PJ must have some issues to do some of the things he has done lately. Hanging with the wrong people can most times do this. Anyone that has dope and a gun spells trouble. Any association with Mr. Thomas is bad enough alone. Still he has been cleared from the first charges. I hope that he has learned that his twitter didn't help him much, and people will gauge what UNC will do in this scenario. The hits and the negative news keeps following UNC around the block these last 3 years. People are losing faith.

  • CarolinaBlue Jul 31, 5:05 p.m.

    J.R. Sweezy (and a few of his friends) were convicted of absolutely NOTHING.

    Doesn't stop you... View More

    — Posted by TruthBKnown Banned Again03

    J.R. Sweezy took the field after a...what was it...1/2 game suspension? It's still hilarious that you guys think we should punish PJ for stuff he allegedly did (i.e. possess the weed, possess the handgun and the rental car being his and not Faulcon's). Too bad the real world doesn't convict people the way CrackPride does which is just their opinion.

    Also I loooooved the comment about me comparing PJ to a NCSUx walk-on...as if players should be punished differently because of the minutes they play! Haha priceless! Keep the genius thoughts coming you high school graduates.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Jul 30, 2:58 p.m.

    J.R. Sweezy (and a few of his friends) were convicted of absolutely NOTHING.

    Doesn't stop you guys from bringing him up whenever a conversation turns to players breaking the law.

    Maybe you could tell us what Sweezy was convicted of, TB100...

  • trueblue0100 Jul 30, 2:39 p.m.

    I have been out of the country for 3 weeks. I am stunned to hear the charges against PJ were... View More

    — Posted by Deacons

    And you didn't have internet access? Do a little research and you will find the answers to your questions.

  • trueblue0100 Jul 30, 2:26 p.m.

    First of all. please tell me exactly what he's been convicted of? The last I heard, the marijuana and license charges were dropped and the two speeding tickets are pending. However, he is certainly guilty of stupidity; gross stupidity. He is also guilty of very poor decision making and that is it.

    If he is actually punished for anything, it will be for the negative attention and publicity he repeatedly brought to UNC this summer. Two speeding tickets would not warrant that much punishment and that's all there is. If the NCAA were to find something else, then that's a different matter.

    Obviously this kid has some mental issues. Why else would he be jeopardizing his college career and possibly his pro career? Did he not know that he was expected to be one of the team leaders this coming year? Did he not know that he was expected to set a positive example for the younger guys coming in this season? It's almost as if he's trying to see how far he can push the envelope before it bursts..

    Maybe he does need some time away from the game to reflect on what he's done and how to correct his destructive behavior pattern. At his current rate, he will eventually do something that can't be reversed; something that will ultimately ruin his life on a much grander scale. I hope the powers that be at UNC can see this!

  • ChuckietheChest Jul 30, 12:37 p.m.

    I'll be shocked if PJ isn't playing later this year for the high heels, it's sad but it's college sports today, i.e. win at all costs. I'm a NC State guy, but this is absolutely a systemic problem and sadly very few coaches today are willing to do the right thing (kick his butt out of school) when it comes at the expense of their success.

    Let's start paying these kids and make it into an actual business, they don't give a rats behind about education anyway.

  • WPIDH4shizzy Jul 30, 8:01 a.m.

    ^^^^Correction- should have read- "I was merely"....

    no need for the "said he"....

    carry on, minions.

    :)

  • WPIDH4shizzy Jul 30, 7:59 a.m.

    I disagree about Graves assessment. Graves came on strong late his last year and was the best... View More

    — Posted by Dooksucksv8

    LOL

    lil willie graves was NOT the best player on his team.

    CHEECH hairston IS/was.

    chin up, fat boy!

    :)

    — Posted by WPIDH4shizzy

    The public school system has let another one slip through the cracks. Poor thing. Reading... View More

    — Posted by mxteam44

    LOL

    where did I say that he SAID "best", lil pansy????

    I said he was merely pointing out how foolish it is.... COMPARING a run of the mill, average (at best) player, to unc's BEST overall player.

    do pick up your dignity at the door, on your way out, Princess!

    :)

  • mxteam44 Jul 30, 7:37 a.m.

    I disagree about Graves assessment. Graves came on strong late his last year and was the best... View More

    — Posted by Dooksucksv8

    LOL

    lil willie graves was NOT the best player on his team.

    CHEECH hairston IS/was.

    chin up, fat boy!

    :)

    — Posted by WPIDH4shizzy

    The public school system has let another one slip through the cracks. Poor thing. Reading comprehension is not your strong suit I see. Let me help you with it. The critical point of that post was that Graves was the best "3-point shooter" and "free throw shooter" on the team at the time. Nowhere in the post does it say "best player on the team". See where you went wrong?

    You're welcome!......."princess"

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