The University of North Carolina will not seek reinstatement from the NCAA for men's basketball junior guard P.J. Hairston. The Greensboro, N.C., native has already sat out 10 games this season due to eligibility issues.
"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," says director of athletics Bubba Cunningham. "The University thanks him for his contributions to Carolina Basketball.
"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," says Cunningham. "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."
Hairston scored 707 points and made 127 three-pointers in 71 games as a Tar Heel. Last year, he led UNC in scoring at 14.6 points per game and connected on 89 threes, the second-most in Carolina single-season history.
"I am extremely disappointed for P.J., his family and our team as he will no longer be playing basketball at North Carolina," says head coach Roy Williams. "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.
"Since summer, P.J. has been outstanding with our basketball program and with his schoolwork. He went through an extremely intense conditioning program with flying colors. He has been called a 'perfect teammate' by one of our other players. He has dominated our practices and at times has been as good as any perimeter player I have ever coached, giving great effort to help our team. He cares deeply about Carolina and the basketball program.
"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."
"We all wish this had turned out differently for P.J. and the University," says Cunningham. "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."
If you read the Leslie McDonald reinstatement request, a name is redacted there who is responsible for most of the value of the impermissible benefits mentioned. It's fairly obvious Hairston is that person which meant the amount of improper benefits was so high the NCAA was never going to reinstate him. There is also the potential that Hairston received benefits that went beyond what was listed in those documents further damaging his case with the NCAA.