P.J. Hairston won't play in opener

Updated: November 7, 2013, 4:05 PM ET
By C.L. Brown | ESPN.com

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina junior P.J. Hairston and senior Leslie McDonald will not play in Friday's season opener against Oakland due to the "ongoing compliance issue" that began this summer.

Coach Roy Williams said he did not know a timetable for when the matter will be settled, adding that he's "waiting for someone else to tell me what's going on." Both players are presumably being investigated for possibly receiving impermissible benefits.

"It is frustrating, but it is a long process," Williams said. "We're trying to do what we can do, the NCAA is trying to do what they can do. That's what it is."

Williams suspended Hairston from the team July 28 after Hairston received his third traffic citation of the summer. Hairston previously had been cited twice in a month's span while driving a rental vehicle linked to a convicted felon. The use of the car caught the attention of the NCAA.

Hairston, who shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range and averaged 14.6 points per game, was the Tar Heels' leading scorer last season. McDonald, who was the team's top reserve, shot 35.9 percent from 3-point range and averaged 7.2 points.

Without Hairston and McDonald, Carolina gets awfully thin on the perimeter.

"When you take out, statistically speaking, your two best 3-point shooters it changes you," Williams said.

Williams said point guard Marcus Paige will start at shooting guard against Oakland. That will make Nate Britt just the ninth freshman point guard in school history to start his first game.

The 12th-ranked Tar Heels will get sophomore forward J.P. Tokoto back after he sat out last week's exhibition game against UNC Pembroke. Tokoto was forced to sit out after playing in two unsanctioned summer league games.

C.L. Brown | email

College Basketball

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