NCAA president Mark Emmert is again refusing to let potential Georgia Bulldogs starter Kolton Houston suit up due to an accidental performance-enhancing substance violation following a shoulder surgery that occurred more than two years ago. You read that right: Houston took an incorrect medication two years ago, and is still ineligible to play football because it hasn't completely left his body yet.
He's been extensively studied, and all parties involved -- including the NCAA -- essentially agree that he's not still using, but certain NCAA test results don't reflect that. Mark Richt remains baffled, and is probably at least as frustrated with the NCAA as with the chemicals in question:
Richt said Georgia's medical staff hopes the anabolic steroid, 19-norandrosterone, will eventually leave Houston's system.
"Over time you assume that substance would leave your body," Richt said. "We've been waiting for that moment and it hasn't come. It's been two and a half years and this thing has not for whatever reason gotten out of there.
Emmert had the gall to declare himself "surprised" that Georgia would keep seeking to change Houston's status, despite more or less agreeing that Houston isn't still using the drug. Emmert sort of argues that he can only follow the letter of the law, but if Emmert thinks that's a suitable explanation, he evidently hasn't been keeping a Google Alert on his own name over the past few weeks.
Think it's not fair to conclude that Emmert should just ignore the rule and follow common sense? This is why you don't ignore precedent just to come down hard on a public enemy while claiming protocol will only be ignored in unique circumstances. A player showing evidence of steroid use despite not using steroids is a unique circumstance demanding a unique ruling, right? Will the NCAA ever make one of these unique rulings in favor of athletes, or will it only make ones like the Penn State ruling, which hurt athletes?
I'm not a Georgia fan, but still feel like tearing apart pillows with my teeth while reading this. If Mark Richt were to lose control of not leaving profane voicemails on Emmert's 1980s vintage answering machine, one wouldn't blame him at all.
While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel: