University of Michigan basketball star Mitch McGary has declared for the NBA draft upon completion of his sophomore year. News of a young, talented athlete deciding to leave school early is nothing out of the ordinary. What makes this case interesting is that McGary had tested positive for marijuana during the Sweet Sixteen tournament just a few weeks ago and was facing a full-year suspension dished out by the NCAA.
So McGary’s choices were to stay in school and not play for a year or to join the NBA and follow his dream? Seems like a rather simple decision to me.
Here’s where it gets silly: The NCAA has recently lowered the penalty for “street-drugs” to half a year, but that doesn’t kick in until August 1st. They really aren’t giving McGary much to deliberate.
Here’s where it gets ridiculous: McGary proved he is NBA caliber during the same Sweet Sixteen tournament in 2013, his freshman year, where he was simply astonishing. However, over that summer, McGary injured his back and had to undergo season-ending back surgery after only eight games and hasn’t played since.
Just so we’re clear, he tested positive for cannabis during a tournament in which he was not participating and was banned for a year from college sports (even though the identical infraction beginning this August carries half that sentence).
McGary, by the way, had previously been administered 8 drug tests during his tenure at UM and passed them all. He even passed 5 drug tests just this year, mostly during his injury. Now, at the very end of a season in which he couldn’t even participate, he was tested prior to a game for which he was never going to lace up and gets suspended.
All for pot.
Now we get to listen to this poor kid and everyone else out there speaking on his behalf say how sorry he is about his terrible decision to smoke a doob. What a stinky load. I think even if he had been playing, this is ludicrous. McGary is a 22 year old man and, yes, he probably should not have gotten stoned while under a player conduct contract. But I just feel bad for him. If he was taking handfuls of a doctor prescribed Vicodin or legally drinking in a bar after a game, he never would have made headlines.
If I was a 22 year old college basketball star who was able to declare for the NBA and I was coming to the close of a sophomore year that saw me sitting on a bench or working in rehab all season and I felt like celebrating the fact that an amazing opportunity came out of a shitty situation, I would roast that fat bowl too. I hope Mitch McGary thrives in the NBA.