Kuntz told Dan Savage of The Stranger, a Seattle weekly newspaper, that he was caught smooching his beau in the press box while filming a game against Snow College in Pueblo, Colo., over the Labour Day weekend. Kuntz had a concussion and was not in the lineup.
“We were getting destroyed,” the 18-year-old Kuntz said, “the game was a total blowout. And I guess I got bored and so I kissed my boyfriend and some of my teammates saw us.”
Kuntz was confronted by his coach, Chuck Parsons, after the game. Kuntz at first denied the kiss and claimed that the man was his grandfather. Kuntz later came clean, told Parsons that he is gay and apologized for lying. The next morning, Parsons informed the freshman linebacker that he was no longer on the team.
“He said he didn’t care what people did in their personal lives, but it was a big mistake to do that on a football trip,” Kuntz said. “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, which was shared with Savage, read, in part: “The head coach reserves the right to dismiss any team member for any conduct that is deemed detrimental to the team. This includes, but is not limited to, any criminal charges or convictions, violations of school policies, NDSCS athletic policies or NDSCS Wildcat Football policies … Lying to Coaches, Teachers, or other school staff (constitute a violation).” The letter continued: “This decision was arrived at solely on the basis of your conduct during the football game … and because you choose not to be truthful with when I confronted you about whom else was in the box with you.”
According to Kuntz, other members of the team have been caught drinking, which is a violation of team rules. Another player, a minor, was detained by police after being found in a 21-and-over club. Other members have “criminal charges and convictions,” Kuntz said. Another player once hosted a house party where the police were called.
“I don’t feel that I should’ve been kicked off the team for this. It was a kiss. It was a mistake, but it was just a kiss. We weren’t making out,” Kuntz said.
Kuntz, who was attending the college on a partial football scholarship, left the school two days after being kicked off the team. He has since moved in with his mother in Dickinson, N.D., and is unsure about what he will do next.