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What kind of punishment is PJ Hairston looking at?

Jul 25, 2013, 1:57 PM EDT

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We all know the story of PJ Hairston and the rental cars by now.

The answer that everyone is looking for has less to do with what happened in the past and more to do with what is going to happen in the future: how long is Hairston going to have to sit out next season?

He’s been cleared of all charges stemming from getting pulled over driving without a license on June 5th, meaning that there will be no legal ramifications for the drugs and the guns that were found outside the vehicle. But that doesn’t mean that Roy Williams won’t take that chance to punish Hairston; just because he’s innocent in the eyes of the court doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll get a free pass from his coach.

But in that case, we’re probably only talking a couple of games.

The bigger issue is how the NCAA is going to view the fact that Hairston was riding around in a car that was paid for by someone else, namely convicted felon Haydn ‘Fats’ Thomas.

Andrew Carter of the Raleigh News & Observer did some digging here:

“Assuming (Fats) Thomas is not classified as an agent … Hairston is looking at repaying the value of his use of the rental car, and possibly a suspension up to 10 games or so depending on how many days he used the car,” [John] Infante [of the Bylaw Blog] wrote in an email. “This is also assuming that is the extent of the benefits he received.”


Including taxes, fees and a $165 towing charge, the daily rental rate of the Yukon was $420. The daily rate for the Camaro came to nearly $80. Combined, the charges for the cars came to more than $500 for the two days Hairston drove them.

$501-$700 of impermissible benefits will get you a three game suspension. The sliding scale increases as more money is involved, and we don’t know just what the NCAA will be able to dig up regarding Hairston’s use of rental cars or if there were other impermissible benefits.

The bigger issue, however, will be if the NCAA can somehow determine that the money came from an agent. Remember this? The NCAA has already been looking into a connection between Hairston and Rodney Blackstock, the agent that caused all that ruckus with Ben McLemore.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. ukraiders - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I bet he doesn’t get anything. NCAA has proven it won’t touch UNC

  2. lundy337 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    C’mon man!?!?
    Seriously Rob are you getting kickbacks from unc’s PR machine!?

    That quote about no longer looking at the past and focusing on the future is near direct PR spin.
    And only $500 for TWO rentals and a couple of games? Give me a break!
    I seriously think someone has slipped you some of the blue kool-aid.

    Do you and unc really expect us to believe that PJ was unfortunate enough to get two tickets on the ONLY days he was driving one of Fatz’ rentals. Given that we know Fatz had a rental tab of around $25,000 are we just supposed to think that those cars just sat in Fatz’ driveway?

    Speaking of which how does Fatz have $25K to blow on rentals loaned out to basketball players and WHY? WHY, WHY, WHY Rob? Since Fatz is a thug is pointshaving involved? Wouldn’t be the first time at unc. Is Fatz a middleman? He certainly has lots of dentist ties.

    Rob nice job of crafting to story to suit unc’s agenda. I can’t wait to hear your story comparing this to NC State’s CJ Leslie car issue.

    So if the NCAA takes the fetal position like we all expect them to do with unc and PJ only has to pay $500 or so, well I suppose it will be ok for PJ to borrow the money from Fatz too? Maybe since Fatz’s cash is all tied up with rentals Fatz could just give PJ some more weed to sell to earn the money.

    I’m sure PJ could make $500 easy slinging weed on Franklin St. He might need a gun to protect his cash from the Franklin St. bums. I’m sure that wouldn’t bother any of the students at unc, at least so long as PJ scores double digits. At this point the only difference between a thug on the street in Durham and on the court in the dean dome is what he’s shooting with…

  3. imforbigblue - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    If this had been a UK player it would be all over ESPN and ppl would be calling for Cal’s head but no it’s UNC he will two pre season games and that’s it.

  4. dalucks - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    How do you get cleared of driving without a license? Did he all of a sudden find his license in his wallet? Did the police officer type in the wrong number or did the Chapel Hill police take a payoff?

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