The North Carolina Tar Heels will open their season without the services of junior guard P.J. Hairston and senior guard Leslie McDonald due to NCAA eligibility concerns, the school announced Thursday.
The Tar Heels' first game is Friday against Oakland.
Coach Roy Williams had suspended Hairston earlier this year after a series of incidents in which Hairston faced numerous charges including marijuana possession, driving without a license, speeding and careless and reckless driving. Hairston also has been linked to a convicted felon who is facing drug and gun charges, raising the possibility of an improper benefits violation.
McDonald's issues are apparently because a company called Iceberg Guards advertised McDonald as a user of its mouth guards, which may violate NCAA bylaws.
''It's an ongoing issue, a compliance issue with the university and the NCAA,'' team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Thursday. ''We're working together on that, but they're not playing. Really that's all we can get into at this point.''