Dec 18, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Suspended North Carolina Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston (center) watches his team warm up prior to the second half against the Texas Longhorns at the Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center. Texas won 86-83. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina, NCAA botch PJ Hairston situation

Did PJ Hairston mess up? Did he do things that warranted a suspension? You bet. But did he deserve to have his name dragged through the mud for the sake of nothing? Well, according to the wonderful folks at the NCAA and (yes, AND) North Carolina, of course he does because amateurism and protecting of an image or something.

Some — backers of the North Carolina Tar Heels program — will claim UNC was just protecting Hairston from further embarrassment. That the NCAA would bring more things to light that would portray him in a negative way. First off, that is complete and utter BS. But let’s pretend it is true for even a second. Then, North Carolina isn’t protecting Hairston from more dirty details coming to light. Rather, they are protecting him from the NCAA making unnecessary details make it to the public.

We should start from the beginning first. A recap of all of this bologna. Before I keep rambling about stuff.

Hairston could have turned pro, but returned to school for NO MONEY. He drove in a rental car that had some shady ties to it. In turn, rightfully so, he gets suspended. Then, not so rightfully, his name gets dragged through the mud for months even though he is an unpaid laborer. UNC finally decides that they won’t ever request a formal inquiry as to a possible reinstatement.

A shorter recap. Unpaid laborer returns to school, passes up millions, messes up, name becomes tarnished, situation dragged out for months, NO ONE BACKS HIM….Including the place he turned down millions to come back to.

Stay in school, kids. Right? Right?

Again, Hairston messed up. This is can’t be argued. What can be debated, however, is if the punishment fit the crime. The answer to this is, heck to the no (cursing is bad or I might get suspended, name dragged through mud and not backed by my employers). I wonder if he is even on the car rental company’s “do not rent” list, which prevents troubled people from renting cars. I mean, bluh.

Not a single person involved in this situation wins. Not the NCAA for taking eleventy-billion months to do nothing. Well, except we later learned that UNC never submitted anything for the NCAA to act on. So definitely not the Tar Heels for not backing their own player and assumingly — I will bet my house on it (I don’t like it, fyi) — that they hide behind the old “protecting the kids” cliche as a way to not acknowledge their history of throwing student-athletes under the bus (usually reserved for football players, but exceptions were made in this case).

I guess, because I have no god damn clue, that we are supposed to believe Hairston deserves this punishment. Except we are all a little bit smarter than that. As I type this I can (figuratively) hear folks twittering on their Twitter Machines about this injustice — well, hopefully at least.

Yet, this changes nothing because nothing seems to ever change. The NCAA continues to bully the people without power with theirs, universities keep on keeping their own interests above the children they are supposed to look after, all while “amateurs” continue to be ridiculed by jerks like me for their play on the court, actions off it and perceived expectations of them we built for them…


Does anyone else care or is it just me?



Tags: NCAA North Carolina Tar Heels Pj Hairston Suspension

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