Mitch McGary has no problem talking about the drug suspension that prematurely ended his college career at Michigan.
The 22-year-old power forward tested positive for marijuana late last season and, facing a one-year ban from college hoops, elected to declare for the 2014 NBA draft, where he was selected No. 21 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
McGary was very candid about his punishment in an interview with VICE Sports posted Thursday, saying he believes college sports’ governing body is far too harsh in its stance on recreational drugs.
“I get people on Twitter and Instagram, still comment and stuff. ‘Hey, you did drugs,’” McGary said. “Well, I did. Whatever. So what. I learned from it. It was in college. … It was the opposite of harming somebody. The NCAA’s a little harsh on their penalties. I don’t think the penalty fit the crime.”
The NCAA already has changed its policy, lowering the suspension for a positive test from one season to half a season.
McGary, who is far from the first to speak out on the issue, said the public perception of him throughout the process actually was largely positive.
“Overall, I think it was good for me,” he said. “It was a learning moment, and the way I handled it was mature and responsible, so I think people actually took my side and went against the NCAA rather than being like, ‘Hey, you’re some druggie.’”
His advice for current college athletes?
“Just don’t get caught.”
See the full interview in the video below.