P.J. Hairston practicing with Tar Heels amid suspension

Jamie Squire

North Carolina's leading returning scorer is getting ready for the beginning of his season, whenever that is.

North Carolina Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston has been practicing with the team despite his unclear playing status for the upcoming season, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com.

Hairston was suspended indefinitely in July after a twisting summer of run-ins with the law, but North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in August that Hairston would play at some point during the season, though a timeline was not given.

Tar Heels point guard Marcus Paige told Goodman that Hairston's issues have not been a distraction to the team so far in practices.

"It was more of an issue in the summer than it will be going into the season," Paige told ESPN.com. "He's in good shape right now, and I think he's in a good place and is ready to move on."

It's standard practice for players to continue to practice with teams during suspensions, no matter who suspended the player. In this instance, the suspension came from North Carolina coach Roy Williams instead of all the way down from the NCAA.

Hairston was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in June, but that charge was eventually dropped. Less than two weeks after the charges were dropped, he was arrested for speeding and reckless driving. The NCAA is also looking into Hairston's possible connection with convicted felon Haydn Thomas.

Hairston is North Carolina's leading returning scorer. He averaged 14.6 points per game last season as a sophomore.

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