UNC's P.J. Hairston suspended after reckless driving charge
Posted July 28, 2013
Updated July 29, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — University of North Carolina head men's basketball coach Roy Williams suspended his leading scorer Sunday night after he notched a third traffic stop in three months.
P.J. Hairston, 20, was cited with speeding and careless and reckless driving Sunday afternoon. First Sgt. Jeff Gordon with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Hairston was driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone on southbound Interstate 85 near Salisbury.
Hairston was driving a 2008 Acura TL with North Carolina vanity license plate MissRLee. That plate is registered to Randi Lee Furr from Charlotte, a woman who has posted photos of Hairston on social media and refers to him as her boyfriend.
Hairston was contacted by phone Monday afternoon and said he was "doing fine," but did not want to answer any questions. Both Hairston and Furr's Twitter accounts were taken down Monday afternoon.
Steve Kirschner, a spokesman for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Athletics Department, issued a statement late Sunday saying Williams had suspended Hairston indefinitely. UNC said Monday that the suspension will not affect Hairston's scholarship.
Hairston, who averaged 14.6 points in 34 games last season, has been pulled over three times since May. In two of those stops he was driving rental cars connected to a Durham man, leading to speculation that use of the vehicles may constitute an impermissible benefit and bring NCAA scrutiny again to Chapel Hill.
On May 13, Hairston was pulled over for speeding in Chevrolet Camaro. The address on that rental traced back to convicted felon and 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 those charges July 22 after Hairston showed proof that he had a driver's license and had completed a drug assessment program.
In an earlier statement, Williams said Hairston faced "serious consequences," including a possible suspension, for the drug arrest but that he had not yet decided on a punishment.
"P.J. and I have had several discussions already and he knows he has made serious mistakes and there will be serious consequences as a result," Williams said on July 15. "Our basketball program is based on great ideals, and these issues are embarrassing."
Hairston is due in court Friday for the first speeding charge. He is due in Rowan County Court Aug. 30 for Sunday's incident.