UNC AD responds to controversy surrounding PJ Hairston

PJ Hairston (Photo courtesy of UNC)
July 9, 2013 9:00:00 PM PDT
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Director of Athletics responded to media reports Wednesday surrounding UNC basketball star PJ Hairston.

His comments come more than a month after Hairston was arrested during a stop at a license check in Durham.

On June 5, the 20-year-old sophomore guard was charged with driving without a license. He, along with Mykael Faulcon and Carlos Sanford, were also charged with possession of marijuana.

Authorities also said a 9mm handgun was found on the ground outside the SUV Hairston was driving during the stop. Forensic testing is currently being done on the weapon, according to police.

The man who rented the SUV told ABC11 in an interview last week that he has no ties to the UNC basketball program, sports agents, or Hairston.

Haydn Patrick "Fats" Thomas also denied renting cars for any athletes, explaining that the SUV Hairston was driving was a rental car given to Faulcon to use.

Right now, there appears to be no NCAA investigation of Thomas.

The scandal has had UNC, including its head basketball coach, tightlipped.

"We're not rushing to judgment," said UNC Basketball Head Coach Roy Williams when ABC11 caught up with him on a sidewalk Tuesday. "For two months, I've been saying I'll make a statement when facts are in. The facts aren't in."

On Wednesday, University of North Carolina Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham echoed Williams comment in a statement that said in part that the athletic department is aware of reports surrounding their men's basketball team.

"We take these matters very seriously and are looking into these reports and the inferences they contain with all due diligence," Cunningham said. "It is my practice not to comment on the individuals involved or the details surrounding these reports until we have sufficient understanding of the facts involved."

He went on to say that they are still gathering information, learning information from other sources, and would not be able to comment further until they "have a strong grasp of each individual situation."

"Where the facts show mistakes in judgment and/or actions, Coach (Roy) Williams will take and I will support the appropriate disciplinary measures," Cunningham said. "The integrity of the University of North Carolina is of paramount concern to all of us and is the principle on which Coach Williams and the athletic department operate each and every day. The most responsible course of action, however, is to withhold judgment and comment until we are confident we have the facts to do so."

A spokesperson for the NCAA has also said in part that, "Due to member rules, we cannot comment on potential investigations."

Durham police said they do not anticipate filing any additional charges in the case and that they are not releasing any additional information.

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