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North Carolina

Hairston returns to practice, issues apology

Posted September 26, 2013
Updated September 27, 2013

— "I will do whatever I can to regain your faith in me and make sure I represent the school and the Tar Heels with respect in the future," University of North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Hairston and head coach Roy Williams were both quoted in the statement, issued on the basketball team's annual media day.

Williams suspended Hairston in late July, after he notched three traffic stops and a drug charge during the offseason, all while driving borrowed cars. In two instances, Hairston was driving cars rented by a Durham party promoter, a possible "impermissible benefit" under NCAA rules. Roy Williams Pic Williams: P.J.'s done all I've asked

On July 28, Hairston was stopped driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone on southbound Interstate 85 near Salisbury in a car that belongs to a fellow UNC student who calls herself his girlfriend.

On May 13, he was pulled over for speeding in a Chevrolet Camaro rented by party promoter Haydn "Fats" Thomas.

On June 5, he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving without a license when he was stopped in a silver Yukon at a checkpoint in Durham. That vehicle was also rented by Thomas.

Durham County prosecutors dismissed the June 5 charges after Hairston showed proof that he had a driver's license and had completed a drug assessment program.

Williams said Hairston has earned his way back to practice, but he will sit out some games when the season begins Nov. 8. The number of games has yet to be determined.

"He knows he made a series of mistakes and understands very clearly that he embarrassed his family, our program and the university," Williams said in the statement.

When pressed by the media for specifics about how Hairston got back in his good graces, Williams said he ran — a lot. 

"In 26 years as a head coach, I've never made the demands on a young man that I have made of P.J.," said Williams. "He accepted them without question."

158 Comments

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  • unc70 Sep 27, 6:40 p.m.

    I've participated in and observed sports for decades. I have done no formal research, have... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    I don't think that the decisions in this case were influenced by Roy wanting or needing any more income to sustain an extravagant lifestyle. Roy lives well, but not extravagantly. If he were to stop receiving income from all sources for being a coach, I believe he has already enough money in reserve to meet their needs for the rest of his life and hers, with plenty left over.

    If you look at Roy's life growing up, you might understand better how he deals with this and other rules violations.

  • Gunnstigator Sep 27, 2:45 p.m.

    All real fans of that school, who actually attended that university should be ashamed of what a... View More

    — Posted by NCSUclassof90

    What a pompous a__ you are to say what I and tens of thousands of alumni should think about OUR... View More

    — Posted by 75Tarheel

    +1

    I have to agree with you about your feelings regarding Carolina. No one has the right to tell you how you should feel. You graduated from one of the best schools in the country, and you owe no one an explanation for your opinion regarding the Hairston situation or anything else having to do with Carolina.

  • Hammerhead Sep 27, 2:33 p.m.

    Nobody is expecting them to be role models or "build a chemistry set". Maybe the players... View More

    Your name definitely suits you (all matter and no life)...the kid made a mistake, of which he is... View More

    — Posted by LUKECAGE

    Thanks. You have described me to a T. As for the nails, I plan on going through a couple of pounds this weekend. My name does fit me, and I have no life.
    Honestly though, should we not expect adults in general to follow the rules after a while? I don't consider celebrities to be role models, that is reserved for regular people.

  • 903 PJ suspended til NCAA clears Sep 27, 2:23 p.m.

    If Coach saw fit to dismiss PJ from the program, he would have done so. All of you 'so-called'... View More

    — Posted by LUKECAGE

    Well done. You're the model UNC fan...

  • 75Tarheel Sep 27, 2:15 p.m.

    Nobody is expecting them to be role models or "build a chemistry set". Maybe the players... View More

    Your name definitely suits you (all matter and no life)...the kid made a mistake, of which he is... View More

    — Posted by LUKECAGE

    +1!

  • LUKECAGE Sep 27, 1:48 p.m.

    Nobody is expecting them to be role models or "build a chemistry set". Maybe the... View More

    Your name definitely suits you (all matter and no life)...the kid made a mistake, of which he is paying for dearly in the media, so that all the world can point fingers and cast judgment. If no harm was done to you, then what's the problem...great and good for you, YOU know better; PJ is now learning a life-long lesson. I'm sure rose petals have always been thrown upon the ground you walk upon, because you're error-free. Go get a bucket of nails and get to work!!!

  • Hammerhead Sep 27, 1:32 p.m.

    If Coach saw fit to dismiss PJ from the program, he would have done so. All of you 'so-called'... View More

    — Posted by LUKECAGE

    Nobody is expecting them to be role models or "build a chemistry set". Maybe the players themselves ( or you ) should grow up and at least try to stay out of trouble, which most of them do by the way.

  • LUKECAGE Sep 27, 1:27 p.m.

    If Coach saw fit to dismiss PJ from the program, he would have done so. All of you 'so-called' Tarheel fans that want PJ off the team, should grow-up!! This is college basketball!!! Ain't nobody on that court building a chemistry set or is curing cancer; all they do is drop buckets and we cheer for them. I expect nothing more than entertainment. If you're holding up sports figures as role models, then you have a sorry existence!! PJ has apologized and Coach is handling the discipline...nuff said!! Don't like it...then cheer for that team across the street that has done no wrong...get off the Tarheel bandwagon...and stay out of Wal-Mart!!!

  • justabumer Sep 27, 11:27 a.m.

    Haters will always hate If he was suspended for the season some would want more punishment. Let... View More

    — Posted by iron fist

    But what about all those little kids who look up to PJ and the Carolina Way??? How can you not... View More

    — Posted by Maxxx

    We don't know what the punishment will be. Hairston is not the only one that children look up to... View More

    — Posted by iron fist

    You claim that what PJ did was not uncommon.. Name another NCAA player who was caught accepting... View More

    — Posted by Maxxx

    At least get your facts straight if you're going to criticize. Hairston is, and was, a licensed driver but didn't have the license with him at the time of the stop. When they were produced, the charge was dropped as it should have been. The gun was found near the car and we don't know if it was his or one of the other guys in the car and I saw nothing to indicate that anyone was "playing" with the gun. There was weed in the car. Was it Hairston's? Maybe, maybe not and I don't recall hearing of a drug test which showed that he was smoking. The folks in Chapel Hill didn't drop any charges, that was done by law enforcement and it's ridiculous to scream that Carolina "cheated". Childish arguments make the person doing the arguing appear to be - well - childish. Grow up, folks.

  • Objective Scientist Sep 27, 11:17 a.m.

    I've participated in and observed sports for decades. I have done no formal research, have... View More

    — Posted by Objective Scientist

    OS, I don't have research on this topic, so I can only speak from personal observations. I... View More

    — Posted by Gunnstigator

    jgunn... obvious from my earlier comments, we agree that Hairston deserves discipline/punishment beyond "mere running. But... in particular I like your last sentence. For me, it is a particularly apt description of what Hairston did last summer... and what Austin and Little also did in the recent past. Such individuals certainly have no "right" and should not be given the "privilege" of representing the University of North Carolina - in anything!

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