P.J. Hairston’s Carolina Playing Days Over as UNC Decides Not To Apply For His Reinstatement

By Matt Oakes Posted December 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm

CHAPEL HILL–UNC-Chapel Hill will not seek reinstatement from the NCAA for Carolina basketball’s junior guard P.J. Hairston.

Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham says the University made its decision Tuesday, and he notified Hairston Wednesday.

“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. The University thanks him for his contributions to Carolina Basketball,” Cunningham says.

Hairston already sat out the first 10 games of the season, but now his Carolina basketball playing days are officially over.

“We also want to thank Coach Williams for the way in which he has held the team together over the early stages of this season despite not having two veteran players and for the level of care and concern he has for the young men on his team. We are glad that Leslie McDonald was reinstated and look forward to watching his Tar Heel teammates and him compete the rest of this season,” Cunningham says.

Head Coach Roy Williams was in a somber mood Friday for his weekly press conference initially scheduled to talk about the Davidson game Saturday. But the vast majority of questions centered on the breaking news of Hairston’s situation.

***Listen to Coach Williams on Hairston***

PJ Hairston 1

“I am extremely disappointed for P.J., his family and our team as he will no longer be playing basketball at North Carolina. P.J. made mistakes and I was very disappointed by his actions and now he is suffering the very difficult consequences. He is not a bad kid; he just made some mistakes,” Coach Williams says.

Coach Williams says he was a bit surprised by the ultimate decision by the University and had little say in the matter. But he says he will continue to support the Greensboro native as he chooses his next steps.

“P.J. has learned from this experience and will continue to grow as a player and adult. I will support him and help him as much as I possibly can as he enters this next phase of his life and basketball career,” Coach Williams says.

Hairston scored 707 points and nailed down 127 three-pointers in 71 games as a Tar Heel. Last year, he led UNC in scoring at 14.6 points per game and made 89 threes, the second-most in Carolina single-season history.

“We all wish this had turned out differently for P.J. and the University. We first learned of this situation back in the summer and getting to this point took a great deal of time because the University, the NCAA and P.J.’s family took great care to learn as many of the facts as were possible to learn. I know everyone, from P.J. and his family, to the basketball team, our fans and the media, wanted this process to play out faster than it did. However, it took the time that was necessary and ultimately came to this difficult conclusion,” Cunningham says.

 

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