The 2013-14 season should be a landmark year for ACC basketball. Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pitt will join the league next season. And Louisville will follow a year later in 2014.
The Big Ten has held the “best conference in America” title in recent years. But the ACC could be a juggernaut that overtakes the Chicago-based league next season.
But one of the vital components in the latter scenario involves North Carolina returning to a national perch following last season’s up-and-down campaign. And that possibility is tied to the availability of junior P.J. Hairston (14.6 PPG), the team’s leading scorer in 2012-13.
The details of his arrest earlier this month are still somewhat murky. But this much is clear: police discovered drugs in a rented vehicle occupied by Hairston and two other men, and a gun was found at the scene during the highly publicized stop in Durham, N.C.
On Monday, Roy Williams discussed the situation in a conversation with USA Today. Williams told the publication that he’s awaiting all the facts related to the case. But he also mentioned the he has “some ideas” of a possible punishment for Hairston, who opted to play another year of college basketball after considering the NBA a few months ago.
"We are doing one thing: We are waiting until all the information comes out," Williams told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "The good thing is, I don't have to make a decision right now because we're in summer school, fall semester has not started, basketball has not started. We're going to wait and see what happens. I've got some ideas, but right now those ideas are staying in my mind.
"I am waiting until all the facts come in and then I will take care of everything that needs to be taken care of."
Now, I think Williams is right to wait until the facts are revealed. Can’t punish a guy without knowing his true role in the matter.
Midway through June, however, Tar Heels fans still don’t know how the incident will affect one of the most crucial members of a squad that is expected to compete for the ACC crown next year.
So it’s still a waiting game in Chapel Hill.