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Sprints Tests Clean, But Understands Kolton Houston's Complaints // 08.03.12

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It's still not his fault.
It's still not his fault.

Mark Richt has lost control of the NCAA
The case of Kolton Houston, a Georgia offensive lineman who tested positive for a banned substance in 2010, is an odd one. No one really disputes Georgia's argument that Houston used the substance once and hasn't since -- but the substance remains in Houston's system. So he remains ineligible to play until it falls below the level the NCAA considers acceptable.

"Over time, you assume that this substance would leave your body and you would get to the point where the NCAA says you can go back and play," 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 for whatever reason hasn’t gotten out of there."

It's easy to see the difficult situation both the NCAA and Georgia are in here. On one hand, a suspension of two and a half years is one of the most draconian punishments I've heard of for a single violation of the Association's rules. On the other hand, the theory for banning these drugs is that their presence in the blood stream helps players train and / or play. So allowing a player with elevated levels of the substance to play would, as Mark Emmert says, completely gut both the spirit and letter of the rule.

It will hopefully serve as a cautionary tale for would-be college football players to be careful about what they consume. No one doubts that Kolton Houston has learned his lesson. The question is how much longer he has to keep learning it.

Dan Mullen is somewhat erratic
Keep in mind that the Mississippi State coach has, in the past, talked injuries.

Mullen threatened to leave the room when asked about the injured players before returning to a nearby seat, where he discussed the first day of practice with reporters for roughly 15 minutes.

But, hey, they're only a few key plays from winning a national title, according to Mullen. So the Western Division Bulldogs have to play it close to the vest.

James Franklin (MO) is still expected to play in the opener
There's not a lot new here, but that's good news for Missouri fans.

More hope for Texas A&M -- and some truly unqualified teams
The NCAA is worried about having enough teams for the 35 bowls, especially now that they've banned approximately half the teams east of the Mississippi from participating in the postseason. So they've adopted some rules to govern what could be several requests for waivers.

First consideration would go to teams that are 6-6 but "would not normally be bowl eligible because they have a win against a Football Championship Subdivision team." Next, 6-6 teams with two FCS wins could be considered.

The first I thought was already a rule -- but the key change here for SEC purposes would be the two wins against FCS teams, since there's at least a chance that Texas A&M could end up in precisely that situation. But wait, there's more.

If a sixth pool is needed, a bowl could invite a 5-7 team thathas a top-five APR rating.

Which is absurd on so many levels, not the least of which being that the APR has nothing to do with anything athletic. I'm not as big a bowl contraction person as I used to be, but if you don't have enough teams with at least a .500 record, it's time to get rid of some bowls.

Former 'voice of Jordan-Hare' permanently silenced
Carl Stephens was 77.

Here's a realignment angle you don't see every day
How will joining the SEC affect Missouri's highly regarded ... volleyball team?

File under "no one, surprising"
The Arkansas state trooper who basically helped Michael Dyer cover up the worst parts of his run-in with the law? Yeah, he was dismissed.

The letter cites Denney for failing "to conform to law and (using) poor judgment" by confiscating without legal justification a gun found during the traffic stop of a car driven by Dyer, not long after the former Auburn star joined Arkansas State and coach Gus Malzahn. The letter says the trooper disposed of potential evidence by dumping the alleged marijuana at the roadside and improperly turned off the video recorder in his cruiser during the stop.

Of course, the state patrol in Arkansas seems to find itself involved in a lot of football scandals -- remember the guy who came by to help Bobby Petrino after his wreck?

But how many players will they put on the field?
I've been warned for years now that the Canucks are trying to take over the world, and no one will listen to me. Well how about now?

By supporting a change in constitutional language, the NCAA's Executive Committee paved the way for Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, to become the first member from outside the U.S. to join America's largest college sports governing body.

They're also looking into allowing Mexican schools into the NCAA -- which, good luck containing the political firestorm that will follow that decision. For now, they're just Division II schools, so the WAC shouldn't get its hopes up. Yet.