UNC suspends Hairston
After a summer filled with trouble, North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams suspended P.J. Hairston Sunday night following the junior guard’s citation for speeding and reckless driving.
Hairston, 20, was stopped by the N.C. Highway Patrol in Rowan County for driving a gray 2008 Acura Acura TL4S at 93 mph in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 85 at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. According to patrol spokesman 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon, Hairston was charged with reckless driving and speeding.
He has an Aug. 30 court date in Rowan County. Gordon said Hairston was not arrested Sunday. Rather, he was given a citation and instructed to appear in court.
Gordon said the officer has the discretion to either place the driver under arrest or issue a citation.
Regardless, Sunday’s incident was apparently enough that Williams moved to suspend Hairston indefinitely. The discipline announcement was made by UNC spokesman Steve Kirschner at 11 p.m. Sunday night.
Hairston, who led UNC in scoring last season with a 14.6 points per game average, has had a series of legal mishaps this year.
He was twice stopped by police in Durham County while driving rental cars tied to Haydn “Fats” Thomas of Durham. The use of those rental cars could represent NCAA violations for extra benefits.
Hairston was stopped for speeding on U.S. 15-501 on May 13. At the time, he was driving a vehicle rented by Catinia Farrington, who owns a home with Thomas on Trotter Ridge Road in Durham. Thomas is a convicted felon who still faces drug and gun charges.
Thomas and Farrington have rented four vehicles since February that have received a combined nine parking tickets on UNC’s campus, though it is not clear who was driving them at the time.
On June 5, Hairston was stopped at a traffic checkpoint in east Durham and charged with possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana and driving without a license. His passengers, Miykael Faulcon and Carlos Sanford, both of Durham, were also charged with marijuana possession.
The charges against Hairston were dropped on July 19 after Hairston completed a drug assessment and presented his valid driver’s license.
Police also found 41 grams of marijuana and a 9 mm gun outside of the vehicle, but no one was charged for possessing those two items.
Durham County District Attorney Leon Stanback said at the time that Hairston was not treated any differently than anyone else charged with possessing a small amount of marijuana and the same record.
Other than to say that Hairston was suspended indefinitely, Williams offered no further statement on Sunday night.
Earlier this month, on July 15, Williams said Hairston faced “serious consequences” for “serious mistakes.”
“We will care about each individual, but there will be serious actions taken that will fix these issues,” Williams said. “I take pride in our values and how we have conducted ourselves for a long time here at Carolina, and this time will pass but it will be dealt with strongly.”