More questions arise in Hairston case
The University’s athletic department has acknowledged a series of revelations in the national media regarding North Carolina shooting guard P.J. Hairston and a Durham man with ties to his case.
In a statement Wednesday, Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said he was gathering information on the situation and would not comment until he had sufficient understanding of the facts involved.
“Where the facts show mistakes in judgment and/or actions, coach Williams will take and I will support the appropriate disciplinary measures,” he said.
Hairston was arrested and charged June 5 with driving without a license and possession of marijuana. The incident report revealed he was driving a rented 2013 GMC Yukon, and a 9 mm gun and ammunition were recovered outside the vehicle.
Kammie Michael, a public information officer for the Durham Police Department, said in an email Wednesday that the department does not anticipate filing any additional charges in connection with Hairston’s case.
USA Today first reported the rental receipt showed the Yukon was rented by Durham resident Haydn “Fats” Thomas for 72 hours at a cost of $1,261.64 from the Hertz rental car agency at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Representatives at the agency declined to comment Tuesday.
USA Today also reported that the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Hairston was driving at the time of a May 13 speeding citation was rented by Catinia Farrington, a woman who shares an address with Thomas. According to USA Today’s report, Farrington rented the Camaro for 54 days between April 25 and June 17, accruing a bill of $3,249.
Thomas told USA Today that he let a friend, Miykael Faulcon, borrow the car to go to the store on the night of the arrest. Faulcon was in the car when Hairston was arrested and also faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.
Thomas, 39, told The Daily Tar Heel outside his Durham home Tuesday that he knew of the UNC basketball player but did not personally know him.
He told USA Today the NCAA hasn’t approached him regarding the situation.
Thomas does not have to talk to the NCAA because the organization is not the government, said Michael McCann, a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated and director of the University of New Hampshire Law Sports and Entertainment Law Institute.
“The NCAA has limitations on its investigatory powers in this matter,” McCann wrote in an email. “Namely, Thomas is not under any obligation to speak with the NCAA, which lacks subpoena power, since it’s not a government actor.”
He said the NCAA’s power limits can make investigations more difficult, because boosters don’t have to disclose actions to the school or NCAA.
“Sometimes the NCAA is in a position where it’s difficult to get a complete perspective on wrongful booster activity because the boosters aren’t obligated to share anything with the NCAA or school,” McCann wrote.
“I don’t know if that is the case here, but it’s possible.”
In the 2010 NCAA investigation of the UNC football team, it was found that University tutor Jennifer Wiley paid off $1,789 in parking tickets for players. Wiley did not cooperate with the University’s investigation and was never interviewed by the NCAA.
If it is determined Thomas provided substantial impermissible benefits, the NCAA punishment could be lightened if the school self-reports the violations, McCann said.
Sports editor Max Miceli contributed reporting.
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