Chapel Hill, NC- Sophomore guard PJ Hairston of the North Carolina Tarheels has been arrested on marijuana charges. The incident occurred last night when police stopped Hairston’s vehicle at a routine checkpoint Wednesday night. He was charged with possession of a half ounce of marijuana along with the two other men in the vehicle.
Hairston was also allegedly charged with driving without a license, however that charge didn’t show up in the initial police report. Along with Miykael Lael Israel Faulcon and Carlos Devone Sanford, the other two men arrested in the case, Hairston was released from custody on $1000 bond.
Senior Associate Athletic Director for Communications Steve Kirschner released the following statement for North Carolina on the incident. “We are aware of the situation involving one of our athletes. We are still gathering information and may comment further later.”
A major blow to Tarheels basketball should a suspension result from this incident, as Hairston was the team’s leading scorer last year. Last season he averaged 14.6 points per game. These numbers are slightly lower than they would be had he started the entire season. He was inserted into the starting lineup when Head Coach Roy Williams decided to go with a four guard starting lineup last year. While a starter he was able to average 18 points while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc.
Thanks largely to Hairston, the North Carolina Tarheels were able to dig themselves out of an early hole and finish 25-11 on the year, finishing second in the ACC tournament and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament as an 8 seed. They rolled past the second round before losing to number one seeded Kansas in the third round.
Hairston averaged 14.6 points for the season, though he averaged 18 points and shot 40 percent on 3-pointers over the final 13 games after becoming a sophomore starter in a four-guard lineup. That helped the Tar Heels (25-11) dig out of an 0-2 start in the Atlantic Coast Conference to reach the ACC tournament final and the third round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Kansas.
The 20 year old Hairston considered leaving college for the NBA before confirming in April that he would in fact be returning for his junior season with the team this year.
No official word on how the arrest on marijuana charges will affect the eligibility of PJ Hairston, or his standing at North Carolina.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express