Hairston returns to practice, issues apology
Posted September 26, 2013
Updated September 27, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — "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.
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."