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Duke Can’t Spell Recruit’s Name, Lose Player To UNC

Considering how much Duke loves to boast about its academic prowess, UNC fans will give the Blue Devils plenty of ribbing for losing out on top-rated basketball recruit P.J. Hairston. Hairston is a McDonald’s All-American from Greensboro North Carolina. Heavily recruited by schools all over the Country, Hairston narrowed down his final two choices to UNC and Duke. Why did Hairston choose UNC over Duke? For starters, he appreciates literacy when it comes to his name. Here is more from Jeff Eisenberg of rivals.com.

“The thing about Duke was, every time they sent me a letter, they wouldn’t spell my name right,” Hairston said. “They would have ‘T.J. Harrison’ or something like that. And I’m like, ‘OK. How can I go here? You can’t even spell my name right.’ It’s only two letters and HAIR and STON. I’m trying to figure out how that’s so hard.”

There’s no way of verifying whether Hairston is embellishing or not, but it would be quite a blunder from the Blue Devils if it happened even once or twice. Not only does Rivals.com rank Hairston the No. 13 prospect in the Class of 2011, he also shares the same last name as a current member of the Duke roster, guard Josh Hairston.

Duke blunders chance at top recruit

Ouch! I mean, how hard is the name P.J.? When it comes to the last name, the Blue Devils already have a Hairston, and as far as I can tell, his name has always appeared correctly on the back of his jersey.

To be fair, P.J. Hairston noted another reason why he chose UNC over Duke. He claimed the Blue Devils system was “mechanical,” unbefitting of his style of play. Hairston is from North Carolina, so I’m guessing he’s seen Duke games over the years. Duke’s system is up-tempo and effusive. I certainly wouldn’t describe it as mechanical.

Never the less, this story only adds another layer to the smack talk that takes place between Duke and UNC fans. If Hairston proves to be a top player for the Tar Heels, the chronicle of P.J. Hairston’s (or is it T.J. Harrison?) recruiting process will grow.

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