A North Dakota college football player was kicked off his team after kissing his boyfriend in the press box at a game.
Jamie Kuntz, a student at North Dakota State College of Science, was traveling with his team to play against Snow College in Pueblo, Colo., on Labor Day weekend, The Stranger reports. The linebacker had recently suffered a concussion, so he could not play. Instead he filmed his team in the press box and was joined by his 65-year-old boyfriend, who lives in Denver.
At one point during the game Kuntz said he got bored, so he kissed his boyfriend, and some of his teammates saw them kissing. Later that day, when head coach Chuck Parsons asked Kuntz who he was with in the press box, he said he was with his grandfather.
The next day, Parsons told him that he didn't care what he did in his personal life, but that it was a mistake to kiss his older boyfriend during a trip.
"I said, yeah, I made a big mistake and I apologized again for lying," Kuntz told The Stranger. "Then he handed me a letter and said he was kicking me off the team because what I did was 'detrimental' to the team and I was a 'distraction.'"
The letter said that the coaching staff could dismiss any player for detrimental conduct, including criminal charges and violating school policies. Parsons added that the decision was based on the fact that Kuntz chose "not to be truthful" when confronted about who his press box companion was.
Kuntz now says that several other teammates, who continue to play, have been in violation of such policies, like underage drinking, and being involved in misdemeanors and felonies.
Writers Dan Savage, LZ Granderson, and Cyd Zeigler agree that the vast age difference of the football player and his 65-year-old boyfriend hurt his case.
"On the heels of the Sandusky trial and Penn State, that's a very high hurdle. ... I'm sad for the kid but angry at the 65-year-old who should have never put him in that position," Granderson said.
Now Kuntz is looking for another school to attend, in hopes that he will reach his eventual goal of playing professional football.
Earlier this year, when Kuntz was officially recruited to play for North Dakota State College of Science, located in Wahpeton, he said in a press release that he was being courted both by his previous school and the University of Minnesota.
"I got a pretty good scholarship at Wahpeton and I decided to run with it," he said. He added that he was particularly excited about the prospects of transferring to an NCAA division I school after making his mark at the North Dakota school, a junior college.
“I think I have a good enough work ethic to go in there and do well right away,” he said. “They send tape to teams all across the country and then hopefully one is interested.”