The wait to see whether Michigan’s sophomore forward Mitch McGary was going to declare for the NBA Draft is over. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel, McGary declared after testing positive for marijuana during this year’s NCAA tournament (which he never played in due to season-ending back surgery earlier in year), which would have suspended him for the entire 2014-2015 season.
Amid the post-victory celebration, an NCAA representative told McGary that he, of all people, had been selected to undergo a random drug test, even though he hadn’t played in months.
A week later, after Michigan was knocked out of the tournament, McGary was contemplating whether to enter the NBA draft or return for his junior season. Coming back would allow him to prove his back was fine and continue enjoying life in Ann Arbor. His play could bolster his NBA draft stock. It was an attractive option.
That’s when he was called into a meeting with Beilein and athletic director Dave Brandon. They told him he failed the drug test during the NCAA tournament. Then they informed him of the NCAA’s harsh penalty for a first failed test: a minimum one-year suspension from all competition.
If he wanted to play college ball again, it wouldn’t be until the 2015-16 season.
“The penalty is a year,” McGary said.
No longer was there a debate about his future. McGary will enter the NBA draft by Sunday’s deadline, he told Yahoo Sports. He’s confident in his future, but says he didn’t really have a choice. The NCAA penalty cemented the decision for him.
A season ban seems a bit harsh. The 21-year-old McGary is a potential late first-round draft pick.