As has been widely predicted over the last several days, PJ Hairston's career at UNC has come to an end. The predictions generally had the NCAA giving him the boot, but when UNC says they're not going to fight anymore, it's because there's no reason for hope.
As Jay Bilas, among others has proven in recent times, the NCAA is a big fat pinyata just waiting for people to smack it. And a lot of times it's deserved.
But here's the thing.
Every athlete signs an agreement to abide by the rules. You don't get to accept some and reject the ones you don't like.
It's like speeding. Unless you live in Lexington, or perhaps Tallahassee, the laws apply to everyone equally. You do 93 in a 65, you're getting a ticket.
Hairston's family released a letter which said they were disappointed:
"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. This process has been long, and for (it) to end without having a final decision from the governing body is a shame."
Not really. It just saved time and clarified things. The NCAA would have said no too. But in case that's not clear enough, Gary Parrish ripped his family a new one, eloquently summarized with this: [t]he only "shame" here is that he blew it in a pretty spectacular way.
Well, that's partly it. The rest of it is that he let down a lot of other people who were counting on him. His teammates could really use him; so could his coach.
It's funny how things work out sometimes. When Hairston was being recruited, he complained that Duke kept misspelling his name in recruiting letters. It wasn't a big deal but it was in the data base and kept getting sent out.
You'd think, he said at the time, that they could spell my name right.
He won't achieve many of his goals at UNC, but at least everyone now does know how to spell his name.