NCAA reinstates Georgia OL Kolton Houston

Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

After a long battle with the NCAA, Houston can return to the football field.

The NCAA has reinstated Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston, the school announced on Thursday. Houston had been ineligible since January 2010 due to a banned substance in his system.

Houston received the news on a pretty good day: his 22nd birthday.

Houston underwent shoulder surgery in high school and was prescribed an anabolic steroid during his recovery process. The steroid showed up on on a drug test during his first semester at Georgia, and since it's on the NCAA's banned substance list, he was ruled ineligible. As of last season, the steroid still hadn't left his body, which kept him ineligible in the NCAA's eyes. This, despite the fact that his steroid levels hadn't changed, proving he hadn't re-taken the substance since enrolling at Georgia.

In the school's official statement, Houston shared his joy over the news:

"This is the best birthday present I've ever had," Houston said. "I had almost reached the point where I thought this situation would never end. When I got the call, I broke down and cried for about 30 minutes. I had that much emotion stored up and it felt good to get it out. I'm ready now to show what I can do."

Watts Dantzler a junior at UGA, was pleased to hear of the development for his linemate:

Houston will have two years of eligibility remaining, but he could apply for a third year. Either way, it's a good day for the Bulldog.

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