UNC tailback cleared to play

Tailback Ryan Houston of North Carolina was cleared late last

night to play

football this season after his

eligibility was determined by school officials and the


Houston, a senior, is expected to play on Saturday at Virginia

when North Carolina will try to end a 14-game losing streak in

Char-lottesville. His role in the backfield will have to be

determined by Coach Butch Davis on short notice, after Houston sat

out the first five games.

Houston shared the tailback position last season with Shaun

Draughn, who sat out the Tar Heels’ first game while his

eligibility was determined. Senior Johnny White has taken over the

starter’s role, and Draughn is the backup.

Houston is the sixth player whose eligibility has been

determined after two investigations into the program, one by the

NCAA for possible illegal contact

with a sports agent and the other by the

university for possible academic

impropriety. Ten players are still waiting for their eligibility to

be determined.

Also yesterday, defensive end Robert Quinn apologized in a

prepared statement released by the

university after he was ruled

permanently ineligible on Monday. The

NCAA and North Carolina ruled him

ineligible for accepting $5,642 in extra benefits.

“Even though this unfortunate situation is a tough time in my

life, it is something I will be able to overcome,” Quinn said.