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Ryan Houston Cleared to Play This Weekend for UNC

Maybe the one good thing about getting so much bad news over the course of the year is that when you get even the smallest bit of good news, you treat it like an eight-year-old who’s just discovered a pirate’s chest of buried treasure.

Inside Carolina is reporting that senior RB Ryan Houston has been cleared to play for UNC and will take the field this weekend against UVa. In truth this news comes as somewhat of a surprise to myself and a lot of other Carolina fans, as Houston was held out of spring practice for “academic issues,” so when he was one of the players suspected of involvement in the internal academic scandal, I had pretty much written him off for the season. Just shows you never know exactly what’s going to happen with these investigations.

Houston returns to a situation that isn’t nearly as dire as it would have seemed at the start of the season, as Johnny White is enjoying a breakout season at tailback and Shaun Draughn has been a nice second option as well, avoiding any of the same problems he had with fumbling last year. However, Houston is a big, punishing power back and it never hurts to have one of those near the goal line or in short yardage situations, especially given UNC’s miserable 3rd-down conversion rate at various times this season and both White and Draughn’s history with injuries.

Also, if you still haven’t gotten your fill yet about the UNC football scandals, take some time to read Bomani Jones’ article on ESPN about how Butch Davis’ response rings hollow, and then go to Tar Heel Fan to read his take on the piece. Both are excellent reads with a lot of good insight.