Freshman linebacker Jamie Kuntz never imagined being kicked off of the North Dakota State College of Sciences football team because of a modest kiss. Except in his case, there is a controversy of whether it was due to his sexual orientation or because he lied to his coach.
Kuntz, who was on a partial scholarship for football, was injured for preseason football due to a concussion. Since he was not 100% ready by September 1st game day, he volunteered to videotape the game for the team up in the press box.
His team was down by more than 40 points when a teammate noticed him kiss an older man in the press box. The team member was suspicious of the act so he conveyed the message to coach Chuck Parsons
When Parsons initially asked him about the kiss, Kuntz claimed it was his grandfather in the press box. But after feeling guilty about lying to the coach, Kuntz decided to tell the truth; the man in the press box was his 65-year old boyfriend.
On September 3rd, Kuntz received a letter of dismissal from Coach Parsons. In the letter it stated he was being dismissed from the team under the “conduct deemed detrimental to the team” guideline in the team manual. Even more specifically, it was noted he was being released due to “lying to coaches, teachers, or other school staff.”
Parsons also allegedly wrote that he was being released since Kuntz was not truthful when initially confronted about the situation, and that any conduct by any team member that would cause such a “distraction” would have the same consequences.
How was Kuntz such a distraction to the team when he was all the way up in the press box? Most people probably had no idea that anyone was even in there with him.
Kuntz immediately withdrew from the University and moved back home since he had no other reason to stay at the school. However, he said he misses the sport and may try to walk-on to another team in the future.
As many people probably agree, Kuntz does not believe that the dismissal was simply for lying to the coach. Kuntz stated “I know if it was a girl in the press box, or even an older woman, nothing would have happened” and “If it was an older woman, I would have probably been congratulated for it from my teammates.”
Most people at the time did not even know that Kuntz was gay. He told his mother of his sexual orientation at the same time he told her about dismissed from the team. She was accepting of the fact he was gay but feels as if someone took him advantage of more than 3 times his age.
This whole story is somewhat of odd nature but it could easily be a case that continues for an extended period of time. I’m not sure I have ever heard of any team or school dismissing a kid because he lied. It is sure to spark the issue of the equality of sexual orientation in the sporting world.