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The Daily Tar Heel

Cops, athletic officials mum on P.J. Hairston case

In the days since sophomore guard P.J. Hairston was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and driving without a license, few details have been released about his case — and even less is known about the potential implications of his arrest.

According to University athletic policy, any arrest of a student athlete will be treated seriously but on a case-by-case basis.

“The student athlete may be immediately suspended from the team, and other disciplinary actions may result,” the policy states.

Forensic testing is currently being done on a gun found outside the vehicle Hairston was driving.

UNC’s athletic department hasn’t released an updated statement, and department spokesman Steve Kirschner said June 12 that there wasn’t a timetable for an update on Hairston. Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham and coach Roy Williams were aware of the situation.

According to UNC policy, if Hairston is convicted of or pleads guilty to a Class I felony or a misdemeanor, then he may face permanent dismissal from the team, though the final decision rests with the athletic director.

With his arrest, Hairston joins other UNC basketball players who have had run-ins with the police.

Nine years ago, newly appointed UNC coach Roy Williams rescinded a scholarship offer to JamesOn Curry after he was arrested and charged with six felony counts of possession of marijuana and selling on school grounds.

“He is a nice young man, but one who made some very serious mistakes,” Williams said of Curry in a 2004 statement.

And in 1999, two more UNC players were involved in an altercation that led to their arrests.

Then-starting point guard Ed Cota and backup point guard Terrence Newby were suspended from the team after they were arrested following a Halloween brawl.

The pair turned themselves in to campus police and were charged with three counts each of assault inflicting serious injury and two counts of simple assault. The players, who maintained that they didn’t instigate the fight but tried to break it up, rejoined the team after a two-week suspension.

For Hairston, as of The Daily Tar Heel’s deadline, there still isn’t any word on the consequences the leading scorer might face.

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