Despite all of the summer drama, including his indefinite suspension, North Carolina’s returning leading scorer has been practicing with the team. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman spoke with point guard Marcus Paige about Hairston.
“It was more of an issue in the summer than it will be going into the season,” sophomore Paige told ESPN. “He’s in good shape right now, and I think he’s in a good place and is ready to move on. We’ve moved on. He’s working out with us, and we still accept him. It was a big deal in the media, but we’re pretty confident everyone has moved past it. We can’t wait to get him back — whenever it is.”
Hairston’s summer, as everyone knows by now, began with a possession and driving without a license charge. Those charges were eventually dropped.
The troubles continued the following month after being pulled over and charged with reckless driving for going 93 miles per hour in a 65 miles per hour zone. (Note to those who still say “it’s just a speeding ticket,” going thirty miles per hour isn’t just a speeding ticket!)
After his arrest in June that involved other rental vehicles, more citations from the past few months became publicly known. The NCAA also began to look into his relationship with Haydn “Fats” Thomas who signed the rental agreements.
Nobody knows yet just how many games Hairston will miss, but many feel the urgency for him to return. The team’s leading scorer will be needed as North Carolina has one of the toughest if not the toughest non-conference schedule this season.
North Carolina starts their season a little more than a month from now with a meeting against Pembroke. PJ Hairston may or may not dress, but either way you can find UNC basketball tickets available from Razorgator here.