This wasn’t the resolution that North Carolina had been hoping for, or the resolution it wanted, but at last it has one, at least. The Tar Heels now know, finally, that P.J. Hairston, the junior guard who led the team in scoring last season, will not be back.
“Now we know as a team what’s going on, what the final decision is,” J.P. Tokoto, UNC’s sophomore forward, said on Friday. “(We can) finally just kind of get things finalized and figure out who we are as a team and what we have and what we can work with this year.”
“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,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. “The University thanks him for his contributions to Carolina Basketball. We also want to thank Coach (Roy) 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.”
Cunningham said in the summer that Hairston would play this season.
Hairston led the Tar Heels in scoring last season with 14.6 points per game. His 89 3-pointers were second-high in school history in a single season.
“I am extremely disappointed for P.J., his family and our team as he will no longer be playing basketball at North Carolina,” Williams said in a statement. “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.”
Guard Leslie McDonald was cleared to play Wednesday after an NCAA investigation for receiving improper benefits.