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College basketball: Hairston suspended

UNC suspends Hairston from team after citation

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina suspended leading scorer P.J. Hairston from the basketball team on Sunday night, hours after state police pulled him over for driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone.

Team spokesman Steve Kirschner announced the junior guard’s indefinite suspension in a three-sentence statement.

It marked the latest off-court misstep for Hairston, who had been cited twice in the span of a month while driving a rental vehicle linked to a convicted felon. Authorities dropped one set of those charges last week.

This time, Hairston was cited for speeding and careless and reckless driving Sunday afternoon after the North Carolina Highway Patrol pulled him over on southbound Interstate 85 near Salisbury, 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said.

Hairston, who was driving a 2008 Acura, was cited and released, and faces an Aug. 30 court date in Rowan County, Gordon said.

Hairston previously was cited for speeding in a 2012 Camaro on May 13 in a vehicle that was rented under a woman’s name sharing the home address of Haydn Patrick “Fats” Thomas.

Thomas’ name also appears on rental records for the 2013 GMC Yukon that Hairston was driving on June 5 when he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving without a license at a checkpoint in Durham, N.C.

Prosecutors dismissed the June charges after Hairston produced proof he had a driver’s license and had completed a drug assessment program, Elizabeth Tapley with the Durham County clerk of court’s office said last week.

Two weeks ago, North Carolina coach Roy Williams said Hairston would face “serious consequences” after his arrest, though he hadn’t yet determined a punishment.

At that time, Williams said he was considering several possible punishments, including suspension, but said then that he would wait “until the process is complete” to decide.

Hairston averaged 14.6 points in 34 games as a sophomore last season.

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