USA Today reporter: UNC needs to make statement in Hairston case
Posted July 8, 2013
The USA Today reporter who uncovered the link between a Durham man and University of North Carolina basketball player P.J. Hairston said the man, Haydn Patrick “Fats” Thomas, lied about their relationship.
Eric Prisbell reported on Saturday that Thomas and Hairston are linked to two rental cars, both paid for by a woman who shares the same address as Thomas. Prisbell reported that Thomas is known to have relationships with other college athletes from around the country and makes a living as a party promoter.
“Thomas was not being truthful to me, you know, when he said that he has no connection to Carolina athletes,” Prisbell said while joining Mike and Mark on The World's Strongest Morning Show on 620 the Buzz Monday morning. ”He said he does not know PJ Hairston at all. It really takes a serious shot at his entire credibility.”
”Finally I was able to obtain the Hertz receipt that showed the plates on the Yukon on the Hertz receipt of Fats Thomas matched the plates that P.J. Hairston was driving on June 5."
“I spoke with Hayden Thomas twice on July 3, both times for about fifteen minutes each. He was confident that what he was telling me was the truth. Based on what I’ve reported so far there’s a second car, the 2012 Camaro SS, that P.J. Hairston was driving when he was cited for speeding on May 13. That’s linked to a woman that shares Thomas’ address.”
Law enforcement, university leaders, fans and the NCAA are curious about the link between Thomas, North Carolina athletics and Hairston. Prisbell says it is hard to tell if Thomas is an athletic booster or has any official role in his dealings with UNC athletes.
Prisbell said he hadn’t spoken to Thomas since the second rental car was discovered Saturday.
UNC officials have said they’re gathering information before commenting on the situation. “I thought they would comment by now on this on the record. I just think it’s in their best interest now to make some sort of statement about how much they know.”
“Hayden Thomas and a woman who shares his address rented that Camaro two times for 75 days for almost $6,000. At least on one of those days, P.J. Hairston was driving that Camaro. That’s a lot of money to put into rental cars, you know, and the question is why,” Prisbell said.
“I thought he would be indefinitely suspended pending an investigation.”