Today, on his birthday, no less, Kolton Houston heard the wonderful news that he had been reinstated by the NCAA and he immediately broke down crying.
In a statement released by UGA, Houston said that when he got the call, he "broke down and cried for about 30 minutes" and that he "had that much emotion stored up and it felt good to get it out."
If you're unfamiliar with Houston's struggle against the NCAA, check out this very well-produced piece by ESPN's Outside The Lines, that details his situation and how big of an issue it has been for him to just be able to suit up for the Dawgs anytime other than in the spring. It turns out that Houston received a banned substance (a steroid) after shoulder surgery in high school. He actually wasn't even aware he had ever taken the substance. The substance ended up getting trapped in Houston's fat as opposed to muscle, and refused to leave his body.
After tireless work by best-in-the-business Sports Medicine Director Ron Courson, and a letter to the NCAA from AD Greg McGarity, there was a petition put forth to the NCAA that asked for Houston to be reinstated and his tests be used as "controls" for proof that Houston wasn't using steroids, but that his body was having a huge issue getting them out of his system from YEARS prior.
Naturally, in the NCAA way, they stuck their head in the sand and refused to talk publicly about the situation, either to Outside The Lines, or answer to Houston about why his case was not as special as all the information made it out to be. So, Houston was really held captive by one doctor's choice and his own body.
That all changed today, however. as Houston tweeted out that he was "free" and the Dawg Nation rejoiced. At first, many thought that the NCAA finally relented, but it turns out that Houston just finally met their ridiculous standard. His body dropped below the abnormal level for that particular steroid and that he was now eligible to play for the Dawgs.
The ruling comes and gives Houston two years of eligibility left, and he can petition the NCAA for a third, which should be a no-brainer, but when it comes to the NCAA, I'm not going to wager a guess. It also gives a frustrating story a great ending, regardless if Houston ever plays a down for UGA or not.
However, I'd wager big money that if Houston can work his way into the rotation this season, you can guarantee Tom Rinaldi will be ready and willing to bring more tears to Dawg fans' eyes in the near future. In fact, you might not find a dry eye in Sanford the moment big number 75 walks his way out onto the field to take his first snap.
All that said, I'm sure Kolton Houston is all cried out and is now just ready to hit somebody.