Hairston gets one charge reduced
P.J. Hairston’s reckless driving charge in late July was the final straw for North Carolina coach Roy Williams, who suspended his leading scorer hours after he was pulled over.
Hairston still is on indefinite suspension, according to a team spokesman, but the reckless driving charge went away on Tuesday when he pled guilty to a reduced charge of speeding and an unsafe movement violation in Rowan County District Court in Salisbury.
The junior guard, who had been observed weaving in and out of heavy traffic and charged with driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone on I-85 near Salisbury, accepted a plea for driving 75 mph. Hairston, who didn’t attend the hearing, was also told to pay a $40 fine and court costs.
The speeding charge was the third run-in with the law for Hairston during the offseason. He was cited for driving 54 mph in a 45 mph zone on U.S. 15-501 in May, then was arrested in June for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and driving without a license at a Durham traffic checkpoint.
The June charges were dropped after Hairston completed a drug assessment and provided a current license. Hairston’s court date for the May speeding ticket has been continued to Sept. 13.
In the first two traffic stops, Hairston was driving rental cars connected to Durham resident Haydn “Fats” Thomas, a convicted felon who is facing additional drug and gun charges later this month.
Hairston’s use of the rental cars could be considered an extra benefit by the NCAA, which would require him to sit out the first part of the 2013-14 season.
When Hairston was stopped in Rowan County, he was driving a car registered to Randi Lee Furr, who referred to herself as Hairston’s boyfriend on her social media accounts.
Hairston’s charges in Rowan County came just two weeks after Williams said that the junior guard faced “serious consequences” for “serious mistakes” stemming from his offseason troubles.
UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham told faculty members at an August retreat that Hairston would play this season, “but not all the games.”
Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said that he didn’t know if Hairston would participate when the team begins practice on Sept. 27.