With his status for the upcoming season (meaning how many games, if any, will he miss) yet to be announced by the powers that be at North Carolina, junior guard P.J. Hairston still has a speeding ticket to deal with. Due to appear in court on Friday, Hairston was not in attendance and his appearance was rescheduled for October 11 by Magistrate Steven R. Storch.
After his second citation this offseason for speeding, Hairston was suspended indefinitely by the UNC athletic department. The question now is how long will the suspension last, and will North Carolina’s early season schedule impact that decision?
The toughest of the Tar Heels’ first four games will likely be their November 17 home game against Belmont, which is coming off of a 26-7 campaign and an NCAA tournament appearance. In North Carolina’s fifth game there’s a chance they could play defending national champion Louisville in an in-season tournament to be played at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. There are also non-conference games against Michigan State (December 4) and Kentucky (December 18) before the Heels begin ACC play in January.
Hairston returns as the team’s leading scorer from a season ago, as he averaged 14.6 points per game. And with Reggie Bullock (13.9 ppg) now in the NBA, not having the services of Hairston could lead to some issues on the offensive end of the floor despite the other talented options at Roy Williams’ disposal.