North Carolina without P.J. Hairston

Whether P.J. Hairston can excite UNC fans this season now depends on whether he can get on the court at all. AP Photo/JIm R. Bounds

P.J. Hairston’s North Carolina career remains in limbo.

For a while, it looked as though the Tar Heels' leading returning scorer was a lock to be back on the team. The charges of marijuana possession and driving without a license had been dropped, and all that remained was the connection to Haydn “Fats” Thomas, who had rented the car in which Hairston was stopped back on June 5. There would be a minimal suspension in store, whether it came from the NCAA or the school, but it would not be a matter of if Hairston returned. It was just a question of when.

Then came the latest incident a little more than a week ago in which Hairston was cited for reckless and careless driving. He was subsequently suspended indefinitely by Tar Heels coach Roy Williams.

No one knows the length of Hairston’s suspension. One source close to the situation told ESPN.com that he figured it could be anywhere from a handful of games to permanent dismissal from the program.