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Indiana, Michigan Stars Use Intoxicants, Get Wildly Different Results

As much as anything, the two cases demonstrate that America's approach to how you cop a buzz is all over the map.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven't kept up lately, Indiana has had some real issues. There's a certain amount of unhappiness with Tom Crean from the fans, some of whom were vocally unhappy with the commitment of unknown big man Jeremiah April, who might be a sleeper or a project, and with recent developments, there have been three alcohol-related arrests this semester.

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Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson were arrested for underage drinking and using false I.D.'s.

This comes right after Michigan's Mitch McGary announced he had tested positive for marijuana use and would enter the NBA draft, bad back and all, rather than sit out another year.

The two are not unrelated.

Camille Paglia, who enjoys being a contrarian and in finding relevance today for otherwise discarded Greek myths, cults and values, had a very interesting take on the current drinking laws, and also marijuana, which we link for your perusal.

We're not as sold on the importance of Dionysian ecstasy (she loves making that sort of connection, although here she focuses on more sedate ideals about drinking), but she has an interesting mind and her slash and burn debate style is generally entertaining and certainly energetic.

We think she has a point when she connects the age limit to binge drinking, though. And we've always thought that the drive to hold athletes to higher standards than other kids their age is often  pointless. Kids in college do college age stupid like kids in high school do high school stupid.

There is an issue of discipline to be sure. Coaches are entitled to hold athletes to a high standard and indeed would be foolish not to.

We just think that as long as they don't stray too far outside the norms of college behavior, they shouldn't be punished harshly. Punished, yes. But sanely.

In college, nearly everyone drinks. Nearly everyone smokes. Tons of students use fake IDs. It's the sort of behavior one sees when people have to live with stupid laws.

A poorly conceived law was broken in Bloomington, just like it's broken every night of the week in every college town in the country. They weren't the only students arrested Friday.

If they had, you know, beaten a girlfriend or committed identity theft, that's significant and anyone doing things like that should be dismissed and/or prosecuted.

But really all they were doing was hanging out with their friends, who were also sneaking into that bar. No one was hurt or bothered much. It was basically a night out and college kids were doing what college kids always do.

As for McGary...this country has a schizophrenic relationship with smoking just about anything. Cigarettes are a legal product, yet smokers have been pushed from public life and generally shunned. In some places they aren't even allowed to smoke in their own homes.

Meanwhile, there is a drive to legalize outlawed marijuana, which is also generally smoked and which also causes significant health damage. People gather to smoke marijuana en masse, have celebrations and smoke-ins.

And of course young people smoke it in large numbers.

So banning someone for a year seems wildly out of proportion.

Maybe Coach K is right. Maybe college basketball could use a commissioner to look at things like this and to make reasonable, common sense suggestions, like maybe a 5-10 game suspension for McGary.

You can't have people making a mockery of the law, even stupid laws. Fine. But why do Ferrell and Robinson get a slap on the wrist, essentially, while McGary faces a year-long suspension?