Back on June 5, University of North Carolina basketball star leading scorer, P.J. Hairston, was arrested at a traffic stop for misdemeanor marijuana and driving without a license charges. That North Carolina arrest also raised eyebrows and suspicions when it was discovered that the car the player was driving was rented by a convicted felon who was facing a pending drug charge and a weapons charge. A 9mm handgun was found on the ground outside the car but there were two passengers in the car and no arrest was made on the gun.
Durham authorities announced that they are dropping the charges against the player. He has produced satisfactory proof of a driver’s license and completed a drug assessment program. The hearing for his two passengers, who face misdemeanor marijuana drug charges, is still set for Aug. 6.
Some repercussions remained. It was the second time in a month that the player had been cited while driving a vehicle rented by a convicted felon. The first incident was on May 13 and the vehicle in that speeding citation was also traced back to the same convicted felon.
A leading player’s contacts with crime figures would violate NAAA conference rules, and would implicate the issue of potential sports incentives. These facts may have triggered an investigation but if so, its status is unknown. The head coach of North Carolina’s basketball team had stated earlier that he would wait until the process had played itself out to determine the nature of any punishment against the player.
If it’s found that the high-end car rental is connected to sports incentives, it could bring NCAA penalties and another embarrassing incident for the Tar Heels. The last incident was a scandal with the football team that led to the firing of North Carolina’s football coach. At least at this point the drug charge has been dismissed, which is a positive development.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “Charges dismissed against Tar Heels’ Hairston,” July 22, 2013