UNC to sit J.P. Tokoto in exhibition

Updated: October 26, 2013, 12:40 AM ET
By C.L. Brown | ESPN.com

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina sophomore J.P. Tokoto, who sat out the "secret scrimmage" against Vanderbilt on Sunday, will miss the Nov. 1 exhibition game against UNC Pembroke for his unapproved participation in summer league games in Milwaukee.

Tokoto will be available to play in the season opener Nov. 8 against Oakland.

UNC coach Roy Williams is still unclear on how many games junior P.J. Hairston will miss. Williams also revealed Friday night that the NCAA will have a say on senior Leslie McDonald's status.

The NCAA presumably will determine either player received impermissible benefits stemming from incidents that took place this summer.

Hairston was linked to convicted felon Haydn "Fats" Thomas after a June arrest for marijuana possession and driving without a license. Those charges were later dismissed, but Thomas reportedly rented the truck Hairston was driving at the time.

McDonald's image was used to promote a brand of designer mouthpieces that prompted a cease-and-desist letter from the university to the company. McDonald could face discipline if it is determined he somehow benefited.

"They're (the NCAA) going to be part of it, yeah. The rumors have been going around since June," Williams said. "We've been addressing those. It's the kind of thing where there (are) still things in process with P.J. and Leslie both."

Williams said Tokoto played in a sanctioned league but failed to complete the necessary paperwork before competing in two games. Upon learning of his mistake, Williams said the correct forms were turned in and he was sanctioned to continue playing.

"He hadn't realized he'd make a mistake," Williams said. "We suggested, we said what we'd like to do with the NCAA is hold him out the scrimmage and hold him out the exhibition game, and they agreed and said everything was fine."

The Tar Heels held their annual "Late Night with Roy" on Friday night at the Dean E. Smith Center complete with dancing skits and a 20-minute Blue-White scrimmage. It was the first glimpse of Hairston, whom Williams suspended indefinitely in late July after he was ticketed for reckless driving and speeding after being clocked driving 93 mph in a 65 zone. But when his name was called and he walked across the stage, Hairston received arguably the loudest ovation.

"It's something he probably appreciated. I did, too," Williams said. "He's had a tough, tough time -- the majority of it caused by himself -- he's still had a tough, tough time."

C.L. Brown | email

College Basketball

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