Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Kolton Houston did not suit up for Georgia last year — thus the redshirt — due to what was called “an NCAA issue” at the time. But The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned today that the “NCAA issue” was a positive drug test revealing the presence of a banned substance called 19-norandrosterone.
Houston began appealing the NCAA’s decision all the way back in April of 2010. Those appeals have stated that Houston was given the drug in high school following a shoulder injury. While he and Georgia claim he has not re-used the substance since then, subsequent tests have continued to come back positive. Which is a negative for UGA football team and for Houston.
“It’s been a difficult situation for Kolton and his family,” Mark Richt said. “People have been asking me questions and we’ve been hopeful he’d be ready to go. He hasn’t been.”
Georgia’s last appeal included a July 12th letter from AD Greg McGarity to NCAA president Mark Emmert. It read in part: “We are appealing to you on behalf of the young man who has done everything possible to clear himself.”
“While I understand the institution’s empathy for Kolton’s situation, I am surprised the institution would make a request. That surprise stems in part from the fact that Kolton tested positive in subsequent drug tests after his initial sanction, and the Drug Test Appeals Subcommittee did not impose additional sanctions . . . due to the “declining value” argument that supported the conclusion that there was no use of the banned substance. The exit test policy, however, which would require Kolton not to have elevated levels of the banned substance in his system prior to competing against other student-athletes who are competiting clean, is not something that can be appealed because doing so would undermine the purpose of the drug-testing program. . . . The fact remains that Kolton currently has the presence of a banned substance in his system and will not be able to participate in NCAA competition until that presence drops to an appropriate threshold.”
The takeaway from all this is that Houston can continue to practice with the Dawgs but he won’t be allowed to play until his tests come back clean. Coming out of spring practice, he was listed as Georgia’s starting right tackle.
Until the 19-norandrosterone drops to a lower level, sophomore Watts Dantzler and freshman John Theus figure to fill the void left by Houston.
The bigger issue is this, however — Georgia’s schedule may look “easy” on paper, but any true SEC fan knows there is no such thing as an “easy” SEC schedule. And easy or not, falling anywhere from 10 to 15 players below the scholarship limit — depending on which UGA source you believe — doesn’t help matters.
The Bulldogs are the favorites in the SEC East according to most in the media. But to this writer, things sure don’t seem to be working in their favor at the moment.