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Gay North Dakota State football player says kiss got him booted from team

BY JAMES MACPHERSON AND DAVE KOLPACK, ASSOCIATED PRESS

DICKINSON, N.D. -- A concussion kept Jamie Kuntz from suiting up for his first college football game. A kiss from his much-older boyfriend at that game led the freshman linebacker to be kicked off the team, he said.

North Dakota State College of Sciences in Wahpeton acknowledges Kuntz was disciplined by the team, but says it wasn't because he is gay. Football coach Chuck Parsons told Kuntz in a letter that he was removed from the team for lying about the kiss.

Kuntz, 18, and on a partial football scholarship, left the college in southeast North Dakota this month after his dismissal from the team.

"Football didn't work out, so there was no reason to stay," said Kuntz, who lives with his mother across the state in Dickinson.

Kuntz said he and his 65-year-old boyfriend were in the press box at the game against Snow College in Pueblo, Colo., over Labor Day weekend. Kuntz was videotaping the game for the team. His Wildcats were down by more than 40 points when "the kiss just happened," he said. The team would eventually lose 63-17.

"People around here aren't exposed to it," Kuntz said of homosexuality. "People expect gays to be flamboyant, not football players."

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