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December 20, 2013

Career at UNC ends for P.J. Hairston

Friday afternoon, Roy Williams and the Tar Heel faithful finally put an end to the P.J. Hairston matter, but it wasn't the answer everyone was hoping for.

In a statement made Friday in Chapel Hill, UNC announced that Hairston will not be reinstated back, ending his career with the Tar Heels.

Hairston, who was going to be a leader and possibly one of the top players in the ACC this season, sat out 10 games this season and having to hear the words of "FREE PJ" reign over the Dean Dome several times.

However, that time has ended and the Tar Heels can and will have to put this matter in the back of their mind throughout the rest of the season, knowing that this is the group they will have the rest of the season.

One could say a little bit of weight has been lifted, finally knowing the answer so many have craved for since hearing the news.

However, there always could be a "what if" around this season, depending on how far the Tar Heels go this season, as the Tar Heels have been up and down early on.

In a statement released Friday by Bubba Cunningham, one can see that this is a true disappointment to the UNC program.

"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," said 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.

Coach Williams spoke about the matter, in what he said was one of the most difficult matters he has had to face in his coaching career.

"I am extremely disappointed for P.J., his family and our team as he will no longer be playing basketball at North Carolina," said Williams in Chapel Hill. "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."

Hairston came back for his junior season, after averaging 14.6 points per game last year and being one of the top shooters in all of college basketball.

Hairston was going to be the player that provided the outside shooting that UNC has needed all year long, while also using his wide frame to dominate other defenders down low.

Now, Hairston has finished his career at North Carolina, certainly not the way he wanted to when signing with UNC three years ago.

Hairston finishes his career with 707 points, while hitting 127 three pointers during 71 games that he played.

The Tar Heel faithful learned that they would get back senior Leslie McDonald earlier this week, after sitting out nine games and having to pay back 1,783 dollars.

Having McDonald back certainly helps the needs for North Carolina and having a perimeter shooter, but the loss of Hairston is truly a big one in the eyes of the UNC program.


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