SUV in Hairston stop linked to Durham man
Posted July 3, 2013
Durham, N.C. — The SUV driven by University of North Carolina basketball player PJ Hairston when he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana in early June was rented by a Durham man who had loaned the car to one of the passengers, according to an article published Wednesday by USA Today.
Haydn Thomas, 39, rented the car June 2 and returned it to Hertz near Raleigh-Durham International Airport on June 5 for a charge of $1,261.64. He said that he let Miykael Faulcon, a basketball player at Elizabeth City State, borrow the car “to go to a store” and that he did not know Hairston, according to the article.
Hairston, Faulcon and 23-year-old Carlos Sanford were pulled over at a license check point in Durham on June 5. Hairston, who was driving the rented silver Yukon, was cited with driving without a license and possession of marijuana.
The incident of the report also stated that a 9-mm handgun and a magazine with nine rounds of ammunition were found alongside the vehicle during the stop. None of the men has gun permits in Orange, Durham, Guilford or Wake counties.
The marijuana found totaled a half-ounce, the legal cutoff for a felony in North Carolina, but it was split into two bags. All three men were arrested on misdemeanor drug charges and released on $1,000 unsecured bonds. Hairston is due in court Aug. 6.
In the USA Today article, Thomas said, “he is not a University of North Carolina athletic booster nor is he connected to a sports agent.”
Both UNC and ECSU have said that they are waiting for the legal process before they make any decisions on the futures of the players. A statement from the NCAA last week stated, “we cannot comment on current, pending or potential investigations.”
If the car is found to have been specifically rented for one of the active players, it would denote an NCAA violation under the impermissible benefits umbrella.
Hairston, a rising junior at UNC, averaged 14.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game last year. He was invited to try out for Team USA for the 2013 World University Games, but left before camp was over with a back injury. The university has not commented on the severity of the injury.