P.J. Hairston, North Carolina basketball's leading scorer last season, told police on the night of his June arrest on a drug charge that he was given the rental vehicle he was driving to visit friends in Atlanta, according to a detailed police report.
Hairston also tried to switch places with one of two passengers before arriving at the license checkpoint according to a copy of the report, which was obtained by The News and Observer of Raleigh and reviewed by The Associated Press on Friday.
Hairston said he had received the SUV two hours earlier from a man he identified as "Fatts." Rental records show Haydn "Fats" Thomas, a convicted felon facing pending drug charges, rented the 2013 GMC Yukon from June 2 to June 5 for a cost of $1,261.64.
"Mr. Hairston stated that 'Fatts' rented the vehicle for Mr. Hairston because he was planning on traveling to Atlanta this weekend to see some friends," the report said.
The Durham Police Department has refused to release the detailed report, saying it's part of the investigative file.
Hairston was arrested June 5 along with Elizabeth City State basketball player Miykael Faulcon and former college basketball player Carlos Sanford. All three were charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and face an August court hearing.
Officers also seized a 9mm handgun found outside the rental vehicle during the search. A Durham police spokeswoman said Wednesday that there were no plans to file additional charges in the case.
According to the report, Hairston stopped when he neared the checkpoint and realized he couldn't find his license. He then switched places with Faulcon, who had been sleeping. Hairston was also charged with driving without a license.
Hairston initially denied smoking marijuana, then later said he was a "recreational" marijuana smoker and had last smoked about two weeks earlier, according to the report.
Faulcon and Sanford both declined to comment about the incident this week after games at the Greater N.C. Pro-AM summer basketball league in Durham.
In a statement Friday, Elizabeth City State athletics spokeswoman April J. Emory said the school hasn't "received inquiries from the NCAA" regarding Faulcon. Her statement cited privacy laws while not discussing disciplinary measures taken against Faulcon, though she said the school was still "gathering additional information."
The rental vehicle was one of two driven by Hairston and later linked to Thomas.
Hairston was also cited for speeding in Durham on May 13 in a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro that was rented under the name of Catinia Farrington with the same home address as Thomas in Durham. That rental ran from April 25 to June 17 at a cost of $3,249, according to rental records.
That same vehicle was also rented under Thomas' name from March 25 to April 15 for a total of $2,468.47. And it was ticketed twice for parking without a valid permit on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill, once on April 15 and again on May 28.
In all, four vehicles rented by either Thomas or Farrington have received a combined nine parking tickets on campus since February. USA Today first reported details of the parking tickets.
UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham issued a statement Wednesday saying the school is still gathering information on potential improper conduct by members of the men's basketball team. Cunningham's statement didn't name any player specifically.
UNC began investigating after Hairston's arrest and that work includes whether NBA agent Rodney Blackstock has improper ties to Hairston or any other UNC athlete.
Hairston averaged 14.6 points for the season, though he averaged 18 points and shot 40 percent on 3-pointers over the final 13 games after becoming a full-time starter. He announced in April that he would return for his junior season instead of entering the NBA draft.