The saga surrounding Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston reached a national audience this week, and has spurred an online petition directed at the NCAA to reinstate the Bulldog player.
Houston, who the NCAA indefinitely suspended in 2010 for testing positive for a banned substance, appeared on ESPN's “Outside The Lines” on Sunday detailing his struggles to regain eligibility. The Buford native tested positive for the anabolic steroid Norandrolone, a drug he received while rehabilitating from a shoulder injury he sustained while still in high school. According to Houston and his family, the lineman wasn't aware the drug he was given was a banned substance.
Norandrolone is a steroid used to increase testosterone and red blood cell production. An increase in red blood count does help the body carry more oxygen and heal faster. The drug has remained in Houston's body at a level that remains above the 2.5 nanograms/milliter threshold set by the NCAA.
Once at a level of 260 ng/ml, Houston's level is now at 4 ng/ml, and he's taken more than 80 drug tests to prove he has never reused the steroid.
"He's been tested probably more than anybody in the history of college football,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said in the ESPN report.
A California man named Jeremy Barton started an online petition Tuesday urging NCAA President Mark Emmert to return Houston's eligibility. The petition, which was just short of its 2,500 signature goal Wednesday afternoon, writes: The NCAA should review its approach towards the enforcement of their rulebook, and reinstate Houston for the upcoming season. The kid has gone above and beyond the necessary to prove, statistically, that he is not using banned substances. Reinstate Kolton!!!
Houston is asking the NCAA to give him a special exemption based on all the information the Georgia Athletic Association has provided.
“Through all the evidence that we've provided, all the data we've provided, I think the NCAA should be able to stand up what's right, what they know what's right, and be able to make this special case for me,” Houston said in the report.