Comments on the decision to not apply for reinstatement for P.J. Hairston:
“Well beyond the statement the reaction to it is just read the statement. It’s probably the most difficult and saddest thing I’ve ever gone through as a head coach. It’s been a process. If you want to know how to lose five pounds in seven days then go through this crap. It’s been a difficult time period for all of us. It’s an extremely difficult time period for me because you’re talking about a young man. It’s been an extremely difficult time period for me because you’re talking about a young man that I have been so mixed because I was so mad early and I had been so proud of him. I think you can read that in the statement. He’s handled everything and I admire him. I don’t admire the actions that caused it and he knows that but I’ve admired the way he’s handled things so greatly. It’s off the charts.”
What was your role in the determination made about the future of P.J.’s status with the team?
“The head coach is not involved in the NCAA process. The head coach is sort of stuck in the middle because he wants to know and he understands. He sees the NCAA’s part. He sees the institution’s part. He sees the kid’s part. The head coach is involved with the turmoil at a greater degree than anybody else. Not saying that there’s not turmoil for our administration. I’m not saying that but the head coach is involved in the turmoil from a personal standpoint. I’m the guy that goes and sits in the living room but I do not know what will happen next. P.J. and I will have some conversations, some very close and personal conversations. I just got back in town at 4 a.m. this morning but I got back in the office at 12:15. You guys just got to understand that I don’t have anything else to say. Losing is always sad and I’ve always said many times that the only difficult thing about coaching is that the lows are much lower than the highs are high but from a personal standpoint this is the lowest moment that I’ve gone through in 26 years that I can think of.”
Have you talked to the team about the P.J. situation moving forward?
“I have not talked to the team. I talked to them at 5 a.m. yesterday morning and at that point they didn’t want to talk to me anymore.”
How will this affect your team moving forward knowing for certain that P.J. will not return?
“I don’t know. It’s not going to benefit the team physically on the court. I mean guys we’ve lost a game by four and a game by three where we missed 49 free throws. P.J. can make a free throw. He’s been the most dominating player in our practice on the perimeter that I have ever coached so it’s already affected our team from a win-loss standpoint. From a mental standpoint, my team has been so resilient but they’re going to hurt from this I put it that that’s the best statement I have ever heard when somebody says that he’s been almost the perfect teammate. Again, this is a kid I took off the media guide, poster, told him he couldn’t be the captain the first day and we’ve got a sophomore and junior that walk out and talk to the referees every game. I ran him until he almost dropped so they’re going to hurt for him. There’s no question about that but the actions were there. All of us in life pay for our actions and these are some very difficult consequences that he’s paid for his actions. I have no problem saying that and that’s the very frustrating part, very mad part and then like your children you get very mad and very upset about their actions. You still love your children.”