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Durham man denies providing improper benefits to Hairston

Posted July 9, 2013
Updated July 10, 2013

— A convicted felon with ties to University of North Carolina basketball player P.J. Hairston told WRAL Tuesday the UNC athlete has not received any improper benefits from him.

Hairston has been pulled over twice in rental vehicles traced to the same Durham address, raising questions about possible NCAA violations.

Durham's Haydn “Fats” Thomas, 39, rented the silver GMC Yukon that Hairston was driving when he was pulled over June 5 and cited for driving without a license and possession of marijuana. In a May 13 stop, Hairston was charged with speeding while driving a vehicle rented by Thomas’ wife Catinia Farrington. Farrington rented the Chevrolet Camaro for 54 days ending June 17, at a cost of $3,249.

Thomas told WRAL he doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

Hadyn Thomas Sims: Durham man says he didn't provide benefits

He said if there was a problem, the NCAA would be knocking at his door and said that hasn't happened. He added that UNC and its athletic department have not contacted him either.

Thomas said he let Miykael Faulcon, a basketball player at Elizabeth City State, borrow cars he and his wife rented. Thomas, who called himself a party promoter and is a co-owner of an exotic car rental company in Durham, said Faulcon does odd jobs and yard work for him.

Faulcon was in the Yukon when Hairston was pulled over in Durham. During the stop, police found a half-ounce of marijuana, a 9mm handgun and ammunition in and near the car.

Thomas said Faulcon and Hairston are friends and he thinks Faulcon let Hairston drive. Faulcon denied WRAL's request for an interview while playing in the NC Pro-Am at Durham School of the Arts Tuesday.

Thomas also told WRAL that cars rented in his name were ticketed on the UNC campus, but he again said Faulcon was likely the one on campus.

Thomas has been convicted of at least nine offenses – four of them felonies – in Durham and Wake counties since 2006. Offenses include drug paraphernalia possession, obtaining property by false pretense, carrying of a concealed weapon, possession of stolen goods and printing and spending false money.

But, Thomas said there is nothing criminal, and certainly no NCAA violation, regarding his ties to Hairston or other UNC players like Leslie McDonald or former basketball player John Henson. Thomas says he knows Hairston, he really doesn't "know" him. Thomas calls them just passing acquaintances.

UNC leaders continue to deny requests for interviews and said Monday Hairston’s status with the team has not changed. Calls to Thomas’ and Hairston’s lawyers had not yet been returned by Tuesday evening.

104 Comments

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  • ThePackisBack_Bing Jul 13, 7:28 p.m.

    i

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 10, 9:59 p.m.

    What this boils down too is, if Pj gets kicked out of school then he will be around this low... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    That's one of the sad things about this, Toddler. It's kind of a self perpetuating cycle. ... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    and despite all this bad news that he's brought on himself and UNC since June 5 (and most likely... View More

    — Posted by 903 PJ trusted Rodney Blackstock

    Well, that's all on PJ, then. I have to believe these guys have been warned and told over and over again what to do and what not to do. Roy shouldn't have to babysit these players.

  • JACKSON SAWYER Jul 10, 4:22 p.m.

    You are right jackson Vass, outside of Cameron. LOL! never thought anyone heard of it?

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    used to live in Pinehurst-

  • chuck2 Jul 10, 3:02 p.m.

    I remember when I was a kid in high school how I dreamed of playing a sport for a major college.... View More

    — Posted by chuck2

    I agree on your "vengeful" statement,but otherwise see it a bit differently. You can... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    Your point is well taken.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 10, 1:11 p.m.

    You are right jackson Vass, outside of Cameron. LOL! never thought anyone heard of it?

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    Grew up in Moore County through high school although not in Vass... however my high school was in the Moore County Conference along with Vass. We played them, home and home, each year. I'm very familiar with Vass.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 10, 1:07 p.m.

    I remember when I was a kid in high school how I dreamed of playing a sport for a major college.... View More

    — Posted by chuck2

    I agree on your "vengeful" statement,but otherwise see it a bit differently. You can look at individual specific facts about Hairston and, with the exception of the handgun if he is linked to that, possibly dismiss any one as "youthful indiscretion/poor judgment". In Hairston's case it is the cumulative seriousness of the sum of the individual events/facts that takes it beyond being explained by "youth". If a link is established between Hairston and the gun --- unequivocally he has to go!!! I would add - relative to your comment about "us" being more "vengeful" today... it is also sad what we seem to tolerate and/or are willing all to "be explained away" today. I've been around intercollegiate athletics my entire life of 6+ decades and close enough to those athletic programs to know - there are some alumni, there are some fans who are alumni, and fans who never set foot on the campus - who would sell their soul and the university for national championships. Such folks 'idolize" athletes and coaches and are willing to "tolerate" having athletes like McAdoo - who should NEVER have been admitted, and who are willing to tolerate such "youthful poor judgments" as that with Hairston. I'm willing to "forgive" some and relatively minor "youthful indiscretions/poor judgments", but when I back off and look at the total picture with Hairston - what he has done collectively goes beyond mere poor judgment and I don't want the likes of him representing "my University"!

  • Toddler10-21 Jul 10, 12:21 p.m.

    You are right jackson Vass, outside of Cameron. LOL! never thought anyone heard of it?

  • chuck2 Jul 10, 11:57 a.m.

    I remember when I was a kid in high school how I dreamed of playing a sport for a major college. A lot of kids have that dream but of course it doesn't always happen. Also, as a lot of "kids" do I remember sometimes going out and having a big time with some of my buddies, teammates, and doing some things that we shouldn't have been doing. Not hurting anyone or destroying property, nothing like that just having a big time and again doing some things we shouldn't have been doing. It is now later in life, age 60, that I am glad that I didn't get the opportunity to play sports for any major college team. It's obvious that a kid cannot sometimes be a kid when playing college sports. Now I'm not taking up for anyone. Wrong is wrong and there is no in between. I'm saying that's its sad when a kid messes up by just being a stupid kid how the media and any opponent fan base crucifies a him; someone who has hurt no one but himself. PJ knows he made a mistake. He doesn't need the media and "others" to point that out to him in the harmful and vicious way they do. He looks like a man, no doubt, but he is still just a kid who did a stupid thing, like many of us did when we were his age and younger. Today it becomes headline news when a well known college athlete gets a speeding ticket. Sad, really sad as to how vengeful our society has become. And we wonder why our country is the way it is today.

  • uBnice Jul 10, 11:51 a.m.

    The stench that continues to come from Chapel Hill is amazing. Where is the NCAA? If I was an... View More

    — Posted by Steven

    I am an alumnus of UNC-CH... multiple times. I am also "completely embarrassed by how my... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    Ditto! What is happening at UNC is simply indefensible. As an alum, I will not and cannot defend it. It is unnecessarily embarrassing. The people who make the decisions to admit these types of athletes and keep them there under these circumstances should be held accountable in addition to the athlete.

  • Objective Scientist Jul 10, 11:43 a.m.

    The stench that continues to come from Chapel Hill is amazing. Where is the NCAA? If I was an... View More

    — Posted by Steven

    I am an alumnus of UNC-CH... multiple times. I am also "completely embarrassed by how my university is handling things and how all these things continue to go on." I was/am an athlete and I love sports... but I will not - WILL NOT - support doing anything to win on athletic courts/fields!

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