When P.J. Hairston was arrested for marijuana possession and driving without a license by Durham police back in June, it didn't initially appear like much of a big deal. Of course, that's when some industrious posters at Pack Pride stepped in and revealed that the car Hairston was driving had been rented by a fellow named Haydn "Fats" Thomas, who among other things has an extensive criminal background.
And good lord how we've gone down the wormhole from there. Jim Young has a good summary of the events up to this point, which is great because this is complicated and I don't have the energy. Since the initial news of the Thomas-Hairston connection broke, Thomas has been tied to several other UNC basketball players thanks primarily to social media.
Thomas' original claim that he didn't know anyone at UNC was refuted with amusing ease by the aforementioned evidence--I mean, the dude sold (or claims he sold) a phone to Leslie McDonald, and later admitted as much--which eventually led to this backtracking statement to the N&O:
"We throw parties, for Christ's sake," Thomas said when asked how he knew UNC athletes.
"When I said I don't know them, I meant, I don't know you, but you're talking to me now, right? So I guess I met you."
Don't try to parse that or your head will explode. Since the USA TODAY began taking the lead on this thing, it's been getting more interesting. Eric Prisbell and Rachel Axon reported Tuesday that four rental cars linked to Thomas had been issued nine parking tickets on UNC's campus. Two different cars were issued citations on the same day, which suggests that more than one player is involved.
SFN also offered up some additional information Tuesday, pointing out that McDonald was ticketed for speeding (going 24 over on a major holiday--great idea!) in a car registered to somebody else. But hey, at least it wasn't a rental.
I don't know where this is going next, but I would like to thank all parties involved for the July entertainment.