by Bill DiFilippo / @bflip33
One of college basketball’s most controversial sagas is finally coming to an end.
Just two days after North Carolina guard Leslie McDonald was reinstated from his season long suspension, the university announced today that it will not seek reinstatement for star guard PJ Hairston, hereby ending his career in Chapel Hill.
After leading the Tar Heels in scoring in ’12-13, Hairston had not appeared in a game this year due to an NCAA investigation into him receiving improper benefits during the offseason. The Tar Heels were 7-3 in his absence.
“Unfortunately PJ 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 PJ would not be possible,” says director of athletics Bubba Cunningham. “The University thanks him for his contributions to Carolina Basketball.
“We all wish this had turned out differently for PJ 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 PJ’s family took great care to learn as many of the facts as were possible to learn. I know everyone, from PJ 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.”
Hairston averaged 14.6 points and 4.3 rebounds last year en route to being an All-ACC honorable mention.
UPDATE: The Hairston family released a statement on Friday that says they are “displeased” with UNC’s decision not to submit a request for Hairston’s reinstatement.
We are displeased with the University of North Carolina’s decision not to submit the necessary paperwork to the NCAA requesting to have PJ reinstated. This process has been long, and for to end without having a final decision from the governing body is a shame. Ultimately this affects PJ, and his eligibility to play Division I colligate basketball for the remainder of this season, as well as next season.
Despite our disappointment, we wish the team continued success.
PJ will be making an announcement about his future plans within the next few weeks. For now, we respectfully ask the media to refrain from contacting us, so that they can enjoy a peaceful holiday season at home.