A bit of new information on P.J. Hairston's case from USA Today's Eric Prisbell. Trudy Faulcon, who is the mother of Miykael Faulcon, the Elizabeth City State basketball player who was arrested with P.J. Hairston on June 5th, says she told the NCAA about the number of times she witnessed the North Carolina junior driving rented cars.
Faulcon's account to the NCAA alleges Hairston's use of the rented Camaro, a possible extra benefit, was not an isolated incident. She said provided dates to investigators of when she saw Hairston visiting her home in the car. More frequent use of the vehicle on Hairston's part could lead to stiffer penalties from the NCAA.
Faulcon said that when Hairston visited her son at her home during the spring and summer of 2012, Hairston would be dropped off and picked up. But when he visited her home on a suburban Durham cul-de-sac in May, he was driving the Camaro with Virginia plates.
Faulcon said the first time she saw Hairston with the Camaro was in early May after she picked up her son from Elizabeth City State University, where he plays college basketball, and returned home to see Hairston at her home with the Camaro in the driveway.
"The first time I saw the car was when P.J. came in it," she told USA TODAY Sports. "The next time I saw it, P.J. came and picked him (Miykael) up again in it. Whenever Miykael needed to come home, and P.J. would be with him, P.J. would be driving it … When I saw that car, I knew it was P.J. or Miykael or the both of them. It never was his (Miykael's) car. The car was for P.J. It was for P.J. to use and to go wherever he wanted to go."
There are some potential negatives here and also some elements of this that might actually help Hairston's case.
First up, Faulcon is providing the NCAA with additional dates which Hairston drove the Camaro. As you recall, Hairston was ticketed for speeding in mid-May while driving the Camaro. As far as what is publicly known, that is the only time Hairston can be "proven" to be driving that particular rental. Faulcon alleges it was more than that and even provides the NCAA with specific dates.
The question for the NCAA is do they find her credible? Remember, she is not some third party without a vested interest in the case. Her son was named by Haydn "Fats" Thomas as the person the car was rented for not Hairston. Faulcon has repeatedly stated on Twitter this was not the case and has tweeted several things that belies her assertions in this piece she doesn't want to do any harm to Hairston or UNC. Obviously the NCAA will decide if she is credible and if her information checks out. It should be noted Faulcon is not longer listed on the ECSU roster but the school has not said why that is the case.
If(and it is a big IF) the NCAA deems this information credible it would serve as additional evidence of improper benefits to go along with the two publicly known instances of Hairston driving rental cars belonging to Thomas. However, the bigger issue here is if Faulcon's testimony contradicts what Hairston has told the NCAA. Should the NCAA opt to take Faulcon's account as gospel and it differs from what Hairston has said then it opens the door to an ethical conduct violation. Lying to the NCAA generally brings swift retribution and would likely spell the end of Hairston's UNC career. If this is just limited to improper benefits, then the penalty could still be severe but he still plays this season.
As for silver linings, Faulcon has no evidence putting Hairston in the car except in May. That doesn't mean Hairston wasn't driving it before that nor does it discount the possibility there is some other evidence linking Hairston to this car or others. As far as this account is concerned, Faulcon can only place Hairston in the car in May which is the same month he was cited for speeding in Durham. That's not shocking since no one believed Hairston just happened to get caught the one time he drove the car in question. Faulcon also admits her son drove the Camaro as well but maintains the car was rented for Hairston. Faulcon's use of the vehicle could muddy the water as to which player the car was being used by. Again, with Faulcon having a vested interest in this case, some form of corroboration would probably be needed to fully accept her account. In the end this may be a he said/she said situation which the NCAA would need to parse.
In addition to those factors, it is also important to note when this meeting occurred and when USA Today decided to roll this information out. According to the article Faulcon spoke to the NCAA on September 21st six days after she talked to Prisbell about it. No other details in the article are new and outside of Faulcon's allegations it essentially covers old ground. The question is why this article is coming out now instead of when it happened or shortly thereafter? If it is such a bombshell why not drive the story then instead of waiting until the NCAA is supposedly ready to decide the case? Was Prisbell hoping for additional information and never got it so it was use it or lose it? Whatever the answers to these questions it is clear there hasn't been much new information publicly available regarding Hairston's case or else the media would have dug it up. This latest revelation is now almost two months old meaning whatever the NCAA is considering is largely unknown to the public.
In the end, given the factors, it is unlikely Faulcon's testimony will matter that much to the NCAA. Again, that doesn't mean an absence of other evidence which could be as damaging or more to Hairston eligibility. In fact I fully expect the NCAA has plenty of evidence even without Faulcon talking to them. It simply underscores the possible credibility concerns with Faulcon's contentions, especially given her son is also in the NCAA crosshairs and may have already been penalized.
Whatever the case, a resolution is supposed to come before Friday but with the NCAA you can never know for sure.
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