P.J. Hairston arrest: Tar Heels AD releases statement

Ed Zurga

University of North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham released a statement saying he is taking the arrest of P.J. Hairston very seriously but will hold off judgement until all the information is revealed.

The University of North Carolina is looking into the reports involving P.J. Hairston's situation with "due diligence", athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Hairston and two passengers were arrested for possession of marijuana on June 5th after being pulled over for speeding. During the traffic stop, police found a half-ounce of marijuana, a 9-millimeter handgun and a magazine with nine rounds of ammunition.

On Sunday, the case took another twist when it was revealed the car Hairston was arrested in was a rental under the name of Haydn Thomas, a convicted felon. Thomas claimed he doesn't know Hairston, and that Miykael Faulcon, one of the passengers arrested with Hairston, had borrowed the car.

Cunningham said in his statement that the school is aware of all of the media reports and that the school and coach Roy Williams will figure out the appropriate punishment for Hairston, if there is any.

"The athletic department compliance staff and I are fully aware of recent media accounts related to our 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. 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. We are still gathering information, learning information from other sources, and we will not comment until we 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."

Earlier today, WRAL Sports reported that Hairston would not face any additional charges, other than the initial marijuana possession and driving without a license. Hairston was the leading scorer for the Tar Heels last season with 14.6 points a game and decided against entering the NBA Draft.

As Tar Heel Blog writes, Cunningham's statement, although vague is to be expected. New information about the Hairston case has slowly trickled out and the university is waiting to make a decision. This isn't Hairston's first run-in with the authorities either. He was convicted on felony counts of accessing computers in 2006 and has also pled guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia.

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