After a sophomore receiver on the Texas A&M football team was accused of exposing his genitals twice to female tutors, he offered an explanation that stretches the bounds of credulity — that he had a case of jock itch.
Never mind that Kirk Merritt exposed his penis to two separate tutors, who were women, on separate occasions within 24 hours, the Houston Chronicle first reported Friday. And never mind that Merritt chose to ignore options other than exposing himself, including:
1. Excusing himself from the lesson to relieve his jock itch.
2. Simply not scratching his genitals in front of his tutor.
3. Scratching his genitals in the presence of his tutor without exposing them.
And a victim's description of the incident to police leaves doubt as to the jock itch theory. Here's this doozy of a paragraph from the Chronicle:
The first victim claimed Merritt put his hands in his shorts and followed with a "rhythmic up and down motion" until his penis was "exposed over the top of his elastic banded athletic shorts."
He then continued to rub himself until the tutor, understandably aghast, ended the lesson.
The description from the second victim is no less horrifying. She described seeing Merritt's shorts pulled down and "his penis was in his left hand in plain sight."
That tutor skedaddled, too.
Both tutors reported the incidents to campus police. Merritt faces charges of indecent exposure in Brazos County.
But he practiced with the Aggies last week; a school disciplinary body concluded Merritt's actions constituted disorderly conduct, but that he did not take sexual advantage of the women.
Head football coach Kevin Sumlin, who used to coach the University of Houston squad, has yet to comment on the Merritt case. We have asked the Texas A&M athletic department for comment and will update when we hear back.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.