NCAA investigating man with ties to agents and UNC’s PJ Hairston

acarter@newsobserver.comJune 21, 2013 

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UNC's P.J. Hairston (15) reacts as he comes out of the game during the final minute of play at the Tar Heels fell 70-58 to Kansas during their NCAA tournament third round game on Sunday March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Arena in Kansas City, Missouri.

North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham said on Friday that UNC officials have been in communication with the NCAA about a case involving Rodney Blackstock, a figure with ties to NBA agents who has a relationship with P.J. Hairston, the Tar Heels junior guard.

USA Today reported in early May that Blackstock, who played basketball at UNC-Greensboro 10 years ago, paid thousands of dollars to the AAU coach of Ben McLemore, the Kansas guard who is expected to be among the top selections in the NBA draft. The payments Blackstock made, USA Today reported, were “on behalf of sports agents and financial advisers” who sought McLemore as a client.

Hairston, who is a Greensboro native, has apparently known Blackstock for years.

“We’ve been aware of the McLemore-Blackstock case since May 4,” Cunningham said, referring to the date when USA Today published its story about Blackstock’s payments to McLemore’s AAU coach. “And we’ve been doing research and finding as much information about that situation as we can to ensure that we don’t have any issues associated with that.”

Hairston is awaiting an August court date on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. Durham police earlier this month arrested him at a license checkpoint. Police also charged his two passengers with misdemeanor marijuana possession.

At the time of his arrest, Hairston, who was the Tar Heels' leading scorer during his sophomore season, was driving a rented 2013 GMC Yukon. Police discovered a gun outside the vehicle. UNC officials have not commented on that case, and have said they are still gathering facts surrounding it.

Carter: 919-829-8944 Twitter: @_andrewcarter

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