North Carolina drops controversial guard P.J. Hairston

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Chapel Hill, NC, United States (4E Sports) – North Carolina announced that it will not apply for the reinstatement of controversial junior guard and last season’s leading scorer P.J. Hairston.

The move virtually ended Hairston’s stint with the Tar Heels, where he averaged 14.6 points last season. He had yet to play this season because of eligibility issues.

“I am extremely disappointed for P.J., his family and our team as he will no longer be playing basketball at North Carolina,” coach Roy Williams said Friday.

“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,” Williams added.

Hairston’s potential violations were discovered after a traffic stop turned up information indicating he had used premium rental cars paid for by third parties.

“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,” athletic director Bubba Cunningham said Friday.

Earlier, fifth-year senior guard Leslie McDonald was cleared to play by the NCAA on Wednesday after missing the first nine games of the regular season for receiving impermissible benefits. He scored 15 points in the Heels’ 86-63 loss to Texas.

According to the NCAA’s statement, North Carolina discovered McDonald’s violations on Oct. 24 and submitted a reinstatement request on Dec. 11.

The NCAA said McDonald must pay restitution of $1,783 to a charity of his choice after the school and the NCAA concluded he accepted “the use of luxury cars, payment of parking tickets, a cellphone and lodging” during the spring and summer of 2013.

The total must be paid in full before North Carolina’s regular-season finale March 8 at Duke.

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