Georgia got some good news on Thursday, when it was ranked No. 6 in the preseason USA Today coaches poll.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, bad news came at roughly the exact same time that the poll was released.
Head coach Mark Richt revealed that Kolton Houston, the presumed starter at right tackle, is—and has been—ineligible according to the NCAA for the last two-and-a-half years, according to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Houston's ineligibility stems from a positive test for "19-norandrosterone," which is a banned substance that is claimed to have been given to him as part of his rehabilitation from a high school injury.
That positive test kept Houston out last season, and he has not tested at a level below an appropriate level mandated by the NCAA.
The AJC has revealed letters exchanged between Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity and NCAA president Mark Emmert which best explain the arguments from both sides.
Rules are rules, and while Houston claims that he is clean, the NCAA can't grant an exception in this case. That would set a terrible precedent.
With Houston out, Richt said that Watts Dantzler—he of spring break bus ride fame—and freshman John Theus will compete with several others for the starting spot.