John Henson found a clever way to stand up for ex-North Carolina teammates Leslie McDonald and P.J. Hairston on Thursday morning.
The second-year Milwaukee Bucks forward posted a photo of himself on his Instagram account clad in a T-shirt featuring an image that looks like the circular blue NCAA logo but has the word "SCAM" where "NCAA" would normally be.
Henson doesn't specifically mention Hairston and McDonald in his post, but it's a pretty safe bet he's referencing the fact that neither wing has been allowed to play so far this season while the NCAA investigates whether they received impermissible benefits. In a pair of Nov. 21 tweets, Henson criticized the NCAA while addressing the Hairston and McDonald saga directly.
"Love how the NCAA picks and chooses which cases to drag their feet on … #TERRIBLE," Henson wrote. "NCAA dangles kids' collegiate careers over their heads with no sense of urgency .. #ItsGottaStop"
Concerns about Hairston's eligibility apparently stem from cars he was driving during the offseason. He was charged with speeding in Durham on May 13 in a Camaro rented to a woman with ties to convicted felon Haydn "Fats" Thomas. He was charged with marijuana possession and driving without a license on June 5 in a GMC Yukon also rented by Thomas.
North Carolina hasn't specified McDonald's issue, but the school did have to send a letter this summer ordering a company that produces designer mouth guards to stop using McDonald's image to promote its brand. McDonald had made at least one social media post last year about wearing the company's mouth guards, an apparent violation since NCAA rules prohibit athletes from endorsing a company or product.
Henson's shirt is produced by a Chapel Hill-based shop called "Thrill City." It appears Henson's Instagram post has been good for business because "Thrill City" tweeted on Thursday morning that the "SCAM" shirt has sold out but it's ordering more and will ship them sometime next week.
Henson wasn't the only ex-Tar Heel to speak out on behalf of Hairston and McDonald on Thursday morning. Former North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall applauded Henson on Twitter and added this in support of his former teammates.
"It's ridiculous we still don't have a timetable for PJ n Lezz," Marshall tweeted. "For all the great things the NCAA does, giving kids scholarships, the system is so flawed."
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