Dogs lineman Kolton Houston reinstated by NCAA

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ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston has been cleared to play for the Bulldogs.

The school announced Thursday that the NCAA granted reinstatement to Houston, who had been barred from playing for testing positive for a banned substance.

Houston received the news Thursday on his 22nd birthday in a telephone call from Ron Courson, Georgia’s senior associate athletic director for sports medicine.

He met the exit threshold in his most recent screening.

“This is the best birthday present I’ve ever had,” Houston said in a statement released by Georgia. “I had almost reached the point where I thought this situation would never end. When I got the call, I broke down and cried for about 30 minutes. I had that much emotion stored up and it felt good to get it out. I’m ready now to show what I can do.”

Georgia had said that Houston was unknowingly given a substance banned by the NCAA – the anabolic steroid Norandrolone – after sustaining shoulder injuries playing for Buford High School. He first tested positive in 2010 and had not met the threshold despite repeated testing and what he has said was no re-use.

Houston has two years of eligibility remaining, according to Georgia, and could petition for a third year following his fifth year.

FLORIDA: The Gators are no longer celebrating former tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is charged with first-degree murder.

The University Athletic Association, which funds the school’s athletic programs, has removed all references to Hernandez in and around the football stadium.

The latest and most public one came Thursday when construction workers pulled up a granite plaque commemorating Hernandez as a first team All-America selection in 2009.

‘’We didn’t feel it was appropriate to celebrate Aaron Hernandez,’’ the UAA said in a statement.

‘’We put together an immediate plan after the initial news broke to remove his likeness and name in various private and public areas in the facility, such as the South End Zone team area, locker room, football offices, Heavener Complex Kornblau Lobby and the brick display entrance to the football facility.”

OKLAHOMA: Announced that it will extend coach Bob Stoops’ contract by two years through the 2020 season.

Stoops was due to make $4.55 million this year.

Entering his 15th season in Norman, Stoops is just nine wins away from passing Barry Switzer as the school’s all-time winningest coach.

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