College Basketball Insider

P.J. Hairston's family doesn't realize what's really a 'shame' here

North Carolina acknowledged Friday that it won't ask the NCAA to reinstate P.J. Hairston.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams is sick about it.

Hairston's family is "displeased."

"We are displeased with the University of North Carolina's decision not to submit the necessary paperwork to the NCAA requesting to have P.J. reinstated," read a statement released by the family late Friday afternoon. "This process has been long, and for [it] to end without having a final decision from the governing body is a shame."

From there, the statement goes on to ask for privacy throughout the rest of the holiday season, and it's all so silly. I mean, seriously, Hairston family? You think it's a "shame" that UNC won't seek reinstatement? Why isn't the "shame" that a promising basketball prospect ended his own college career by knowingly violating NCAA rules and then choosing to lie -- or, at the very least, not be honest -- about those violations when NCAA and UNC officials asked about them? Isn't that the real "shame" here?

Listen, I'm not the guy who routinely defends the NCAA or its member institutions. You wanna blow the whole system up and start over, I'm for it. I'd love to be involved in that process because the current system is hypocritical and broken beyond repair.

But the rules are still the rules.

You don't have to like them, and I don't have to like them.

But we all know them.

And P.J. Hairston knowingly violated the hell out of them.

Then, when asked about the violations, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com that Hairston wasn't forthcoming, and former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl and former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant can both tell you what happens when you lie, mislead or aren't forthcoming with investigators. Remember the column I wrote last month when I was with North Carolina at the Mohegan Sun? I specifically mentioned Pearl and Bryant, because it had become obvious that Hairston was dealing with the same set of circumstances, at which point it became unlikely that Hairston would ever again be allowed to play for North Carolina. I wrote that nearly a month ago. And if I knew that nearly a month ago, don't you think North Carolina officials probably knew it, too?

Bottom line, P.J. Hairston is super-talented, Roy Williams loves him, and North Carolina loves basketball. So if there was any chance that the NCAA would actually reinstate Hairston, rest assured, UNC would've asked the NCAA to reinstate Hairston. That the school didn't and won't isn't a "shame." It's smart. Because now UNC will be spared of the possibly embarrassing details connected to Hairston's violations, and Hairston will also be spared.

And yet the Hairston family is "displeased" with UNC?

Please.

UNC provided a great opportunity for Hairston and did everything it could to help him.

The only "shame" here is that he blew it in a pretty spectacular way.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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