Jul 3, 2013, 5:38 PM EDT
One of the biggest questions that had yet to be answered regarding the legal case involving North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston was who rented the GMC Yukon the junior was driving when pulled over by Durham Police on June 5.
That question was answered Wednesday, as 39-year old Haydn Thomas was the one who rented the car according to a report from USA Today. In the story Thomas claims to have no connection to Hairston and that he allowed one of the passengers in the car, Miykael Faulcon, to borrow the vehicle.
“I don’t know P.J. Hairston,” Thomas told USA TODAY Sports. “I know Miykael, his friend. I don’t know anyone at Carolina. I don’t even like the Carolina team. Look at the age disparity between me and those boys. I could be their father.”
Faulcon, a native of Durham, was a member of the Elizabeth City State basketball program last season. According to Thomas, he and Faulcon met each other while partying at various clubs. That’s interesting given the age disparity and the fact that Thomas himself noted it in the story.
Thomas does admit partying with former UNC athletes, but never giving any “inappropriate benefits”. Thomas said he is not a UNC season ticketholder, in fact he admits he’s not even a Carolina fan.
In regards to the social media aspect of this story, Thomas told Eric Prisbell of USA Today that the reason why Hairston follows him on Twitter is that he promotes parties. According to Thomas, neither the NCAA nor North Carolina have attempted to discuss the situation with him.
Thomas does have a criminal record, with his most recent felony conviction coming in 2006, and he was last arrested in December but it’s difficult to see that having a major impact on the criminal case involving Hairston. The discovery of who rented the car is the latest twist in a story that at first looked to be a straightforward one.
In the weeks after Hairston’s arrest we’ve learned of a possible connection to an agent and now the fact that the car was rented by a man who didn’t even intend for Hairston to drive the vehicle. What’s next?
North Carolina has yet to comment on Hairston’s status, preferring to allow the legal process to run its course.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
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