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Mitch McGary declares for NBA draft rather than face year-long suspension

Michigan Wolverines big man Mitch McGary decided to declare for the 2014 NBA draft, on April 25, rather than face a possible year-long suspension after testing positive for marijuana.

"Being a part of a program that values integrity, it is important to let everyone know of a poor decision I recently made," McGary said in a statement released by the school Friday. "I tested positive for marijuana during the NCAA tournament. We were notified of that result after the Final Four."

McGary, who only appeared in eight games last season due to a back injury, added that he takes full responsibility and regrets disappointing his family, coaches and administration.

Yahoo! Sports reported that McGary failed a drug test administered by the NCAA following the Wolverines' Sweet 16 victory over Tennessee, a game in which McGary suited up but had no intention of playing.

The 6-foot-10 power forward told Yahoo that he smoked marijuana one night in mid-March. He also told Yahoo he has been tested eight times in his two years at Michigan, including five times this year and had previously passed all of them.

Failing a NCAA mandated drug test is an automatic one-year suspension beginning immediately according to bylaw 18.4.1.5.1. Had the failed test been administered by the University of Michigan, which randomly tests athletes throughout the year, the penalty could have been much less severe. Under Michigan's rules, a first offense calls for an immediate one-week suspension from team activities. In addition, the athlete "must sit out the next 10 percent of the maximum allowable contests during the traditional competitive season or postseason of their respective sport."

McGary is expected to be a second round draft selection. He averaged only 7.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in his two-year career at Michigan, but demonstrated his potential during the Wolverines run to the National Title game in 2013 – where he averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds.