ATHENS - Kolton Houston, who has been fighting an eligibility issue with the NCAA for nearly three years, is not currently listed on Georgia's official roster. But does that mean his fight to become eligible is over?
Not necessarily. Team spokesman Claude Felton clarified on Thursday:
"Kolton is currently not working out with the team which is the same as has been the case since his NCAA eligibility has been in question. But his status is the same as last fall. He's still on scholarship and work still being done to restore his eligibility as has been the case the last 2-3 years."
The offensive lineman from Buford has not played a game at Georgia, sitting all three seasons, leading to a back-and-forth between UGA and the NCAA over whether Houston should be cleared.
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According to UGA, Houston took a substance in high school to heal from a shoulder injury. The substance, an anabolic steroid called Norandrolone, is a banned substance by the NCAA.
The substance has remained in Houston's system ever since then, despite numerous attempts by Houston and UGA to test him so he clears the NCAA threshold to be eligible. Georgia argued that Houston's consistent levels in testing showed that he has remained in compliance and not re-taken the illegal substance since entering college. The NCAA countered that Houston could not be cleared because he still tested above the allowable threshold.
Houston finished spring practice in 2012 as Georgia's first-string right tackle. When he continued to test positive, the team said Houston would stay on the team and keep trying to become eligible.
“We're in a situation where whether he plays or doesn't play he is part of our 85 number," head coach Mark Richt said in December. "We can't medically give him a (medical disqualification) on this thing. He’s either going to make it or he’s not, but in the meantime, he counts on the 85. If he ever gets to the point where he reaches whatever threshold they are looking for and he still wants to play then we want him to play. It will be up to him.”