UNC’s Hairston eligible for NBA Development League

rbonnell@charlotteobserver.comDecember 23, 2013 

— If former North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston wants to play in the NBA Development League this season, there’s nothing in the league’s rules that would preclude that.

According to NBDL spokesperson Joanna Shapiro, if a player is ruled ineligible by the NCAA (as Hairston was) and he’s at least 18 and his high school class has graduated, he’s eligible to sign a D-League contract.

Shapiro added that once a player signs a pro contract, D-League or otherwise, he immediately becomes eligible for the NBA draft the following spring.

Hairston, who considered entering the NBA draft after his sophomore season last spring, has given no indication of his plans beyond a statement from a family spokesperson Friday saying he’ll address future plans sometime within the next few weeks.

Hairston, who is 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, averaged 14.6 points last season to lead the Tar Heels, and he made a team-best 89 3-pointers.

North Carolina announced last week that it would not seek Hairston’s reinstatement from the NCAA. That followed Hairston sitting out the season’s first 10 games and an investigation by both the school and the NCAA about impermissible benefits Hairston might have received.

The investigation centered on Hairston’s use of certain rental cars over the past year.

The Hairston family expressed displeasure that North Carolina chose not to pursue his reinstatement, effectively ending his playing career with the Tar Heels.

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