North Carolina

Troubled Hairston no longer enrolled at UNC

Posted January 9, 2014

North Carolina's PJ Hairston during the Tar Heels' game against Florida State in the 60th ACC Tournament on Friday, March 15, 2013 in Greensboro, NC (Photo by Jack Morton).

— After losing the remainder of his NCAA basketball eligibility in December, PJ Hairston has decided to step away from school altogether. The former guard is no longer enrolled at the University of North Carolina, the school confirmed Thursday.

It was announced Dec. 20 that UNC would not to reinstate Hairston following multiple off-the-court issues, including a June 5 traffic stop where marijuana and a gun were recovered in and near a car that was rented out by a convicted felon. Hairston was arrested and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving without a license but the charges were dismissed on July 22 after Hairston showed proof that he had a driver's license and had completed a drug assessment program.

"Unfortunately, P.J. made a number of mistakes that placed his eligibility at risk, and the university's joint review with the NCAA made it clear that seeking reinstatement for P.J. would not be possible," director of athletics Bubba Cunningham said in a statement on Dec. 20. "The university thanks him for his contributions to Carolina basketball."

Hairston, a Greensboro native, averaged a team-high 14.6 points per game for the Tar Heels a year ago. In the course of his 71-game Carolina career, he scored 707 points and made 127 three-pointers.

On Tuesday, Hairston tweeted out back-to-back messages saying “My dream stands in front of me...” and “Next stop, Chi town!”

Jonathan Givony, of Draft Express, said on Twitter Wednesday that Hairston, along with dismissed University of Louisville player Chane Behanan, are each expected to enter the player pool in the coming week with hopes of playing in the NBA Developmental League this season.

Hairston was also cited in July with speeding and careless and reckless driving after being clocked at 93 mph in a 65-mph zone on southbound Interstate 85 near Salisbury. Hairston pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and paid a fine.

UNC head basketball coach Roy Williams suspended the Tar Heels’ leading scorer July 29 following his third arrest and punished him with "an extremely intense conditioning program."

Hairston was present at the preseason Late Night with Roy event in October and was seen on the sidelines, although wearing a suit instead of a uniform, up until last week during Tar Heels home games.

Following UNC’s decision not to seek reinstatement for Hairston, his family issued a statement that read, "We are displeased with the University of North Carolina's decision not to submit the necessary paperwork to the NCAA requesting to have P.J. reinstated. This process has been long, and for it to end without having a final decision from the governing body is a shame.”


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  • grh90 Jan 11, 2014

  • A person Jan 10, 2014

    Did he leave school to pursue a career in crime?

  • A person Jan 10, 2014

    Yeah, he'll be missed (sarcasm)

  • Objective Scientist Jan 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    "...throwing him to the wolves"? I don't like a lot of things about all this football - basketball "MESS" with regard to UNC's "policies" and actions - in fact I am very disappointed in and disgusted with my alma mater. But... what started this situation with PJ? PJ started it by driving vehicles provided him by a dubious "benefactor" - impermissible benefits - not to mention the accompanying "weed" and gun issues... and then compounded everything by driving recklessly on a busy highway just weeks later. PJ is not "innocent" in this matter and if the wolves were growling and howling at his door... he brought them on himself! I do agree... he should have been "kicked off" the team before he was... simply because that was the "right thing" to do!

  • Objective Scientist Jan 10, 2014

    "CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — After losing the remainder of his NCAA basketball eligibility in December, PJ Hairston has decided to step away from school altogether." - from the article. I don't claim to know what was or is going on in PJ's head or heart, but I believe it is very likely that Mr. PJ Hairston would not have enrolled in any college or university as a student only - he likely only did it for the opportunity to "play ball" and enhance his marketability to the NBA. IMO - this is a huge part of the problems we see in collegiate basketball and football. Hairston has a LOT of company! Universities need to stop admitting individuals with that mindset and motivation - who are almost always unqualified to be admitted due to academic and literacy deficiencies! Some suggest the university's are "using" those athletes and "making tons of money" off of them. Perhaps that is happening to some degree, but that highway runs both ways.... the players are also "using" the universities!

  • cpgbrad Jan 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    very sad comment. He was there for both. Student-athlete. The thought of this being a pro sport training ground is exactly what is the problem. You need to be a pro sports fan and not a college sports fan...

  • cpgbrad Jan 10, 2014

    nobody really thought he was going to class anyway

  • Leave it to Beaver Reruns Jan 10, 2014

    This is just pure speculation, but........
    Looks to me that they used the pure hell out of PJ for their APR purposes. Saw a comment on a premium board where it says that PJ's GPA actually was helping UNC's APR. My guess is that they told PJ to just keep going to class and working out with the team and they would apply for reinstatement. Obviously they didn't and made him stay up to the end of the semester when they finally revealed to him and the rest of us that they would not be applying for PJ's reinstatement. Basically, if they would have told PJ back in October (knowing dern well that he probably would not be able to play) that he was done, then PJ would have dropped out then potentially causing all sorts of issues with the team's APR. Making him stay and finish the semester before they threw him to the wolves prevented this. It would not surprise me for UNC to do something like this.

  • bad1952 Jan 10, 2014

    The shame in all this is PJ caused all his troubles. He never learned from his mistakes. Family had him before UNC. We see what kind of job they both did.

  • chivegas Jan 10, 2014

    I doubt anyone is surprised by this news. Hopefully he doesn't drive himself to CHI!




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