CHAPEL HILL - National college basketball writer for USA Today, Eric Prisbell, played a key role in uncovering information about Haydn “Fats” Thomas and his relationship with PJ Hairston.
Prisbell comments on who he thinks Thomas is and why he has a relationship with the basketball players like PJ Hairston.
“Who he is, is a guy who operates in the shadows, in anonymity really and he builds relationships with these high profile, some of them high profile in the area, for the purpose of partying” said Prisbell.
The NCAA is currently investigating to see if Thomas was a booster representative of UNC Athletics. The NCAA can already suspend Hairston for several games due to his recent arrest for possession of marijuana, but if the NCAA declares Thomas a booster, Prisbell says UNC basketball next year could be under further investigation.
“Well I think if “Fats” Thomas is declared a booster, I think that’s a game changer and that’s problematic for both Hairston and the North Carolina basketball program, but I think that’s a real stretch at this point. I don’t think we’re going to see that” Prisbell said.
UNC did not contact Thomas after Hairston was arrested and have yet to investigate their involvement together. Instead, Prisbell says the University is looking to see if sports agent, Rodney Blackstock, had any involvement in PJ Hairston receiving benefits.
“The NCAA and North Carolina are not just looking at “Fats” Thomas’ relationship with PJ but they’re looking at Rodney Blackstock’s relationship with PJ” Prisbell claims.
UNC and the NCAA continue to investigate Hairston’s involvement with Thomas and Blackstock. Prisbell says he has yet to find a connection involving benefits between Blackstock and Hairston.
“He has known PJ and his family for a long, long time because they’ve both been from Greensboro, but I have yet to find any evidence of an improper benefit between Blackstock and PJ” said Prisbell.http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/eric-prisbell-comments-on-hairston-and-thomas/
CHAPEL HILL – While UNC tends to the early stages of its newest investigation, a ruling was released late last week in another case that alleges sexual harassment.
According to the News and Observer, Administrative Judge Melissa Lassiter ruled Friday that the University failed to protect a housekeeper from sexual harassment and retaliation.
In early 2011, numerous employees in the housekeeping department complained of poor treatment, with incidents ranging from sexual harassment to open threats. After the Washington-based PRM Consulting Firm conducted hundreds of interview of the staff, it found that the department’s practices “created a culture with employee morale issues, lack of trust, and overall frustration.” Housekeeping director Bill Burston stepped down in September amid the controversy; in December 2011, former assistant director Tonya Sell also resigned amidst allegations of verbally abusing her employees.
One housekeeper at the forefront of the investigation is Maria Isabel Prudencio-Arias; she claimed to be a victim of sexual harassment and says she was punished after she brought that to the administrations attention. Prudencio-Arias still works at UNC.
Judge Lassiter awarded Prudencio-Arias attorney fees and said the University should meet her medical needs with a job that suits her. Her lawyer told the N&O that she will be seeking $160,000 in damages for lost personal leave, depression and emotional stress.
The ruling now goes in front of the State Personnel Commission, which will make a final ruling.http://chapelboro.com/news/judge-rules-university-did-not-protect-housekeepers/
Dear Dr. Harmon: