Admit it Austin, you still love (or hate watch) Texas A&M

Clemson blocked Texas A&M kicker Daniel LaCamera’s field goal attempt in the second quarter of the Tigers 28-26 victory Saturday night at Kyle Field. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

 

COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M hasn’t football played in Austin in eight years.

The Aggies haven’t met the Longhorns in football since 2011, the season before they left for the Southeastern Conference.

But fans in Austin still are watching A&M, whether it’s out of love or hate.

The Aggies came within a two-point play of possibly knocking off No. 2 Clemson at Kyle Field last Saturday night. It was the second-highest rated ESPN prime-time telecast in two years. The game drew a rating of 3.0, but it peaked at 4 during the window between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m.

Here’s where Austin comes in. The city’s rating for the A&M game, which was head-to-head most of the evening with Texas-Tulsa played at Royal-Memorial Stadium, was a 7.0. That was the fourth-highest nationally, but tops in Texas.

ESPN’s top 10 markets for the game:

 

1 16.0 Birmingham
2 15.9 Greenville-Sprtnburg-Ash
3 7.5 Charlotte
4 7.0 Austin
5 6.6 Atlanta
6 6.5 Dallas-Ft. Worth
7 6.4 San Antonio
8 6.2 Houston
9 6.1 Greensboro-High Point
10 5.9 Norfolk-Portsmth-N. Nws

ESPN broadcast College Football GameDay preview show from outside Kyle Field Saturday morning. The network said it’s rating was up 17 percent from week two last season, when the show was in Columbus before Oklahoma-Ohio State.

A&M plays at home Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe. But they’ll get a chance to play in front of a national audience, Sept. 22, when they travel to top-ranked Alabama. CBS announced Monday it had picked up the game for its 2:30 p.m. window.

 

Attorney: A&M receiver suffered bad case of “jock itch,” didn’t mean to offend tutors

The attorney for Texas A&M receiver Kirk Merritt said his client was suffering a bad case of “jock itch” and didn’t mean to offend two academic tutors last October.

In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, attorney Rick Davis said: “Kirk Merritt has been charged with Indecent Exposure under Section 21.08 of the Texas Penal Code because of two incidents during tutoring sessions that happened on two consecutive days.

“While Kirk is very embarrassed about this situation, and has apologized to the two tutors that he offended, he did not intend to gratify anyone by exposing himself.

“The fact is that Kirk had a bad case of jock itch. The statute Kirk has been accused of violating requires that the Defendant have an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person and that the Defendant is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his conduct.

“We think that Kirk’s conduct falls squarely under the Disorderly Conduct statute … That statute requires only that a Defendant is reckless about whether another may be present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.”

A&M officials said Merritt won’t play in Saturday’s annual maroon-white game that concludes spring practice. But they said Merritt already had served a suspension dating back to the exposure accusations. The suspension was lifted in February.

According to A&M,the athletic department was notified Oct. 25 about the allegations that Merritt had exposed himself on consecutive days. A&M said the Title IX office was notified, as was the Dean of Student Life.

Coach Kevin Sumlin, after receiving the police report, Oct 28, suspended Merritt from all team activities. Merritt was in the midst of a redshirt season after transferring from Oregon. He wasn’t eligible to play last fall.

The school said Merritt was arrested, Nov. 8.  The school said the conduct process was finished Jan. 20. His suspension was lifted, Feb. 1.

According to the Chronicle, a charge said that one woman told police that Merritt exposed and touched himself “while sitting in arm’s reach” of her “on or about” Oct. 24. A court document said that a day later, another person alleged that Merritt pulled down his shorts and held himself also “while sitting in arm’s reach” of her. The document said both people were  “offended or alarmed by the act of exposure.”

Merritt had been competing for a starting job for the fall.

Johnny Manziel finds a temporary, part-time job

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 09: Cleveland Browns Quarterback Johnny Manziel attends a game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Washington Capitals at STAPLES Center on March 09, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
Johnny Manziel, who now is living in Los Angeles, was photographed as he watched a pro hockey game last year. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

Former Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel will be in Houston to celebrate the Super Bowl and make a little spending money.

But he won’t be cashing a check as a player. Rather, he’ll be around to take selfies with football fans willing to pay money for the chance to be seen with Manziel. It’s the first time Manziel has made an official appearance since he was dumped by the Cleveland Browns 10 months ago.

According to the Associated Press, the Houston company Stadium Signatures has hired Manziel to make appearances at local malls in the leadup to the Super Bowl, which is Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium.

A selfie will cost $50. An autograph goes for $99. A four-word inscription will require an additional $29. And if you want a photographer to snap a picture, it’ll be $99.

Manziel was cut by Cleveland last March. No NFL team signed the troubled former Aggie Heisman winner. Manziel has been living in Los Angeles, where he is sometimes photographed by the gossip site TMZ.com.

 

 

Johnny Manziel domestic violence case sent to grand jury

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 14: Johnny Manziel quarterback of the Cleveland Browns yells at a player as the Texas Rangers take on the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 14, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Johnny Manziel and Colleen Crowley attend a Texas Rangers game last year.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Dallas police department will refer the Johnny Manziel domestic violence allegations to a grand jury.

That news was reported Thursday afternoon by NBC5 in Dallas-Fort Worth. The Cleveland Browns said earlier this week that they plan to cut Manziel, the former Texas A&M star, next month.

Manziel’s ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley accused Manziel of hitting and kidnapping her when the two were at a Dallas hotel last month.

Crowley was granted a protective order after she filed an affidavit, detailing her allegations.

Manziel’s father also went public, said saying he was afraid his son would not live to see his next birthday and that he’d twice declined to enter a rebab center.

According to an affidavit filed by Crowley, Manziel hit her so hard her ear drum ruptured.

“They expect (her ear) to heal but it’ll take a while,” the ex’s Dallas attorney, Kathy Kinser, told KXAS TV in Dallas.

Crowley said she and Manziel had an argument over another woman. She said he kidnapped her, hit her, pulled her hair and smashed her phone.  She also said he threatened to kill them both. She said the two recently had broken up.

She said the two went to dinner at Victor Tango’s restaurant in Dallas with three friends, then went to two bars before going to an “after party” at Hotel ZaZa. The friends left Manziel and Crowley alone.

“We planned to spend the night together in his room there,” Crowley said in the statement.

She wrote that Manziel threw her on the bed, which frightened her. She said she tried to leave the hotel room, but he prevented her from doing so. She said he led her down a back stairway and that she asked a valet to help her.

According to her affidavit, the valet replied, “I don’t know what to do,” and allowed Manziel to “literally throw me in the front passenger seat.”