By Brandon Howell | The Game 730 AM

University of Michigan center Mitch McGary is forgoing his final two seasons of eligibility for the NBA draft after he failed a drug test during the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.

McGary announced Friday morning via a U-M news release his decision and that he had smoked marijuana once at an Ann Arbor establishment. The NCAA was prepared to suspend McGary for an entire season for the infraction, prompting him to declare for the NBA draft.

From U-M Coach John Beilein:

Mitch has had a tremendous impact on our program from the moment he committed to us,” University of Michigan Coach Jim Beilein said in a statement. “He has injected an enthusiasm that cannot be matched. This is why he is loved by the coaching staff, his teammates and Wolverine fans. The progress he has made on and off the court has been outstanding. His willingness to face a personal issue head on and his positive work ethic during his recent injury have helped him to grow in many ways. We know that he will put all of his energy and effort toward achieving his goals. We will continue to assist and support Mitch as he pursues a career in the NBA.”

From McGary:

My family and I want to thank everyone for giving us privacy and the time to make this decision,” said McGary. “As you know, it was important for us to weigh all the factors that go into something like this. With that being said, I am ready to move on to the next stage in my life and enter the NBA Draft.
“Being a part of a program that values integrity, it is important to let everyone know of a poor decision I recently made. I tested positive for marijuana during the NCAA Tournament. We were notified of that result after the Final Four. I regret thoroughly disappointing my family, coaches and administration. Despite all of this they have been understanding and helpful over the last couple of weeks.

“I take full responsibility for this poor choice and want to apologize to everyone, especially those I have grown close to during my fabulous two years at the University of Michigan.

“I love the University of Michigan and all it has allowed me to do. I have had my ups and downs, especially with my injury this season. I want to thank all the fans for embracing me. This has been the best two years of my life and I have some unbelievable memories. I know that I will be a Wolverine forever. Go Blue.”

McGary helped U-M go 59-17 overall and 27-9 in Big Ten Conference play over the past two seasons. He was instrumental in U-M’s return to the Final Four in 2013, when the Wolverines advanced to the national title game against Louisville. This past season, he helped Michigan win its first outright Big Ten regular-season title in 28 years, earn its first No. 1 seed at the Big Ten Tournament and advance to the title game for the first time since 1998, as well as a second straight trip to the NCAA’s Elite Eight.

The 2014 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 26, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. It will air at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

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