Gay football player kicked off team

Timothy Kincaid

September 12th, 2012

I’m not particularly qualified to discuss the stature of the football team of North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. I just don’t know that much about college football. Even though several of my friends are sports freaks, I just can’t get into watching other people play games on television while some voice excitedly tells me the minutia of their batting, kicking, throwing, or whacking other people with sticks averages. (Now a competition based on sewing the best dresses out of gardening supplies.. that’s good television.)

So I’m not exactly sure how much of a loss it actually is that Jamie Kuntz, 18 year-old gay linebacker, was booted from the team. But I am sure that the excuse the school is giving is pure unadulterated football-field fertilizer, of the bull variety.

The story goes like this: (ABC)

He was recovering from a concussion over Labor Day weekend so his coach sent him to the press box to videotape the game against Snow College in Pueblo, Colo.

Kuntz’s boyfriend, who lives in Colorado, came to the game and was sitting in the press box with him. At half time, Kuntz’s team was losing 49-3 and he went down to the locker room to hear the coach’s half-time talk.

He returned to the press box after the talk and said he shared a kiss with his boyfriend in between plays.

“It wasn’t a peck, but it wasn’t a hardcore makeout session,” Kuntz told “It was in between.”

When he boarded the bus to return to North Dakota, his coach pulled him off the bus. The coach told him that people had told him that Kuntz was a “distraction” the whole game.

“He asked me what happened in the press box and I played dumb. I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,'” Kuntz said.

When pressed, he lied and told his coach that it was his grandfather that was in the press box with him. Kuntz’s boyfriend is 65 years old. The conversation ended and Kuntz boarded the bus.

First let me assert that some 65 year-old men are hot! And some 18 year-olds are mature! And… oh what the hell, once you’re done saying “ick”, we’ll continue.

So coach Chuck Parsons booted young Kuntz from the team. For lying. Oh no, not for being gay or kissing a man old enough to be his grandpa. No sirree. It was for lying. Yep, lying.

“It had nothing to do with his sexual orientation. Nothing,” university spokeswoman Barbara Spaeth-Baum told “He wasn’t doing a task that he was assigned to do. On top of that, he lied about what he was doing or not doing, meaning not fulfilling his task.”

That gosh darned lying, it’ll get ya booted from football. Cuz footballers don’t lie. Nope, not at all. Especially not football coaches talking to the press.

Except for one lil’ problem. Here’s how Parsons justified his decision: (CBS)

“This decision was arrived at solely on the basis of your conduct during the football game; and because you chose not to be truthful with me when I confronted you about whom else was in the box with you,” Parsons wrote. “Any conduct by any member of the program that would cause such a distraction during a game would warrant the same consequences.”

So, I guess that means that Kuntz was lying up a storm in the box. And all that lying was causing a distraction during the game. Cuz otherwise he’s admitted that it wasn’t really about lying at all.

Which we already knew.


September 12th, 2012

Funny article. (The last one, too.)

Nice going!


September 13th, 2012

No 18 year old should be dating a 65 year old. And bringing him up into the booth and then making out? Both the player and his old man boyfriend have serious issues.

But now let me speak as a football coach, he’s lying. I guarantee that coach has seen his other players making out with their girlfriends and wouldn’t dream of kicking them off the team. Additionally, youth lie and while it should be discouraged, something like this is not grounds for dismissal. I say all this and if you asked my players, they’d say i’m both strict and demanding. So I can confidently say that coach is full of it.


September 13th, 2012

Oh, Pomo, I’m so glad we have you to decide who we can or can’t date! Where would we be if it weren’t for other people to decide for us who we are allowed to be attracted to?

Oh, that’s right, we’d all be straight, married to a person of the opposite sex, because, after all if it’s okay for you to tell this kid he can’t have a romantic relationship with the type of guy he likes, what’s wrong with the Christian Taliban tell us that we have to live according to what THEY want?

Wasn’t there a re rather famous relationship recently reported on here? Something about someone named Isherwood and his teenage lover, Bacardy? Maybe you better go tell him how much you disapprove of his inappropriate desires!

You might not like what the kid likes, but believe it or not it’s HIS decision, not yours, to make.

Other than the sanctimony I agree with the rest of your post.

David Waite

September 13th, 2012

@ Pomo. Your second paragraph is exactly on point and a valuable addition of experience and logic to our view of this story. I do wonder though, why you didn’t point out that the coach’s observation that their couplehood was a distraction all game was probably quite correct and probably had already generated angry phone calls from parents to both the coach and his bosses. It is a lead-pipe cinch that if they were comfortable enough to share a self-admittedly non-fraternal kiss there they had already sat close enough together to make observers conclude “lovers” and not “grandpa with grandson.”

About your first para, sentence by sentence:
Your first sentence expresses your personal opinion, to which you are entitled. When I have an opinion (about whether an age disparity is appropriate, for example) I keep that personal observation to myself, because personal opinions are never universally shared and explicating mine could step on the rest of my comment message. As an experienced coach you already know this.

Taken together, the second and the concluding sentences seem to reflect your own bias on the age disparity as much as an observation about this couple. Had you merely confined yourself to observing that any 65 year old, of any gender or orientation, should recognize the inappropriateness of romantic kissing in a broadcast booth while his or her partner is supposed to be performing a task entrusted to him, I would agree whole heartedly. I would also say that a 65 year old gay man who didn’t stop to consider what kind of social problems he was opening up his college-age lover to, by participating in such a session in such a place, indeed has issues. Serious issues.


September 13th, 2012

I think I am going to have to agree with Pomo on BOTH of his graphs. I definitely appreciate his POV on the latter one.

I still think that the dismissal was unwarranted and was all prepared to be SUPER outraged until I hit the age mention. Now I am just “meh” outraged. I certainly won’t be marching a picket.

Yes, there are some famous exceptions to the age differential rule, but I cannot stop thinking “ICK” in my mind.

So maybe *I* am the one with issues, but seriously, would it be any less disturbing to any “reasonable” person if it were an 18-y.o. boy and a 65-y.o. woman or if the sexes were reversed? Yes, the kid is now 18 and “legal” but that still doesn’t make it appropriate. And I’d be willing to bet that it began before the kid turned 18.

Flame away…


September 13th, 2012

*Sings* “I’m not your daddy I’m your grandpa!”


September 13th, 2012

But no seriously, consenting adults should be allowed to do what they want with each other. Even if it is gross, disgusting, and sick and wrong.


September 13th, 2012

Clearly, expelling Kuntz from the team was based on the coach’s anti-gay bias — especially considering that other players with criminal arrests allegedly remained on the team. Some type of reprimand would have made more sense.

Although I would hope a college coach be more understanding when dealing with young players, I can understand why the coach would be upset. Kuntz didn’t merely deny kissing his boyfriend, but implied that his teammates were accusing him of incest by claiming his boyfriend was his grandpa. He exploited his boyfriend’s age difference to conceal his inappropriate behavior. I don’t know anything about coaching and will defer to Pomo, but I assume lying is harmful in a team sport.

All that said, I do hope Kuntz get his life sorted out.

Michael C

September 13th, 2012

The most powerful tool our opponents have to use against us is “ICK”. For any of us to use “ick” to justify discrimination is abhorrent.


September 13th, 2012

I didn’t justify the discrimination. I am just saying that if it had been a 65-y.o. woman, it would have gotten him tossed, too.

Michael C

September 13th, 2012

Hi MattNYC, Had he been smooching a little old lady, the school would still be in the wrong. I agree with you that there are multiple facets to this clear case of discrimination, but it is still discrimination.


September 13th, 2012

After reading all the condemnation of this couple I can really understand why the kid lied.

Mr. Kuntz has stated in interviews that he’s always been attracted to much older men, that he pursued and was the “aggressor” in this relationship.

Whether any of you find it “icky” is irrelevant. It’s his life and if you feel you have the right to condemn his sexual desires then you have no business complaining when others like Maggie Gallagher condemn yours!

The actions of the coach and any parents involved are the result of bigotry, plain and simple.

We have no idea how many couples with such a great age disparity exist but a quick surf the the internet shows quite a bit of “grandpa” porn out there, so I think this kid’s predilections probably are not as rare as some of you might wish.

Leather, rubber, feet, BDSM, all sorts of fetishes and needs exist. All of them have their “ick” factor. Do you condemn them all? Are you subject to a few kinks yourself?

Like jock straps? ICK!

Like hairy bodies? ICK!

Like WeHo muscle boys? ICK!

Remember, we’re supposed to be “the good guys” the “accepting” tribe that this kid needs. If you can’t accept that he find much older men sexually and romantically attractive don’t be surprised if he turns his back on his “community” and ends up in a dark and tragic place!


September 13th, 2012


It’s not the fetish that I necessarily have the problem with–there are plenty of things in my fantasy/desire world that are out of the realm of possibility for me. I am certainly not ageist–I indeed hope to live to be old and gray, myself.

And I am sorry to come off as prude, but frankly it’s irrelevant that the kid pursued the older guy (which is very often the case, at least anecdotally). That still doesn’t mean it’s a healthy relationship.

We’re not talking about a 20- or even 30-year old partner.

I am not a psych- anything, so I won’t do any deep analysis. But if I find myself 65+ and single and am the object of desire of a young’un, I will be flattered and then suggest that there are many reasons–and I am not talking about societal disapproval–that it’s a bad idea.

It’s my opinion–I will own it. No one has to agree with me (although–right or wrong–I bet an extremely high percentage of mental health professionals would agree with me). And if I am proven wrong by Mr. Kuntz, so be it.

Michael C

September 13th, 2012

MattNYC, I don’t necessarily take offense to your position. I, myself, was off put by the couple’s drastic age difference. The issue I have is with how much commentary is going on about that age difference.

To me, it’s a bit like discussing the hemline of a rape victim.


September 13th, 2012

@ MattNYC

It doesn’t mean it’s an unhealthy relationship either.

It is what it is, and when I read comments going on about how “icky” it is I get just a bit off-put by the writer.

We don’t know what Mr. Kuntz’s mind-set is. We do know he was treated unfairly by the coach.

Most of the commentators here would be rightly offended if Maggie Gallagher come here to tell us how wrong our relationships are and I see no difference in that and people saying how “wrong” and “icky” this pairing is!

You don’t like it, fine, just don’t try telling this young man who he can and can’t love!

Personally I’m much closer to the age of the older gentleman and while I find Mr. Kuntz pleasing to the eye I wouldn’t be interested in dating him, even if I were single. And, yes, the opportunities have presented themselves to me.

The issue should be how this young man was treated as compared to others on the same football team, everything else is extraneous.

Michael C

September 13th, 2012

…I also doubt any mental health professional would be capable of diagnosing a mental health problem via internet article.

David Waite

September 13th, 2012

I feel I should clarify anything I said that would lead anyone to believe that the issues I adduce in the 65 year old have anything to do with the age difference. First, I turned 70 in March. Second, I really enjoy looking at (without objectifying, and don’t laugh, it’s possible) well-built naturally hairy butch-but-cuddly-looking young men in their mid 20s and 30s.

Third, I very much enjoy the rare flattery of such a younger person being attracted to me. Fourth, some of the most stable and most loving relationships I’ve personally witnessed among both hetero- and homosexual couples have had quite large age disparities. Fifth, although I would never have (and never have had) sex with a person more than 35 years younger, the (for me non-extant) ick factor doesn’t ever enter into my refusal.

My sole reason for declaring this particular 65 year old a person with serious issues is what he allowed to happen. If he loves this 18 year old why did he allow an event which could readily (given our world right now) result in exactly this result, complete with involuntary outing of his lover to the student’s mother, team mates home town and the planet?

Unless a 65 year old is mentally incompetent, some if not all of these sad consequences were absolutely predictable to a sexagenarian, and he had the power to prevent them all with a quiet and loving voice of experience. If he is unable or unwilling to bring the value of his decades of experience to the aid of his lover and their romance, he is not a fit lover for anyone, much less a still-growing-mentally human.


September 13th, 2012

Does anyone here even pretend that even if Mr. Lutz’s boyfriend wasn’t so much older that the consequences would’ve been different?

The “ick” factor isn’t a matter of age for the coach and the complaining parents (who haven’t come forward, by the way). If it had been an 18 or 19 year old the “icky”-ness would’ve been the same.

Again, the age of the boyfriend shouldn’t be an issue, it’s how Mr. Lutz was treated by his coach that’s the real problem.

By saying that the older man shouldn’t have been making out with his legal age boyfriend we’re making it perfectly acceptable for these same complainers to object to two partners of the same age to engage in public displays of affection.

It’s not “Ooh, that old man and that young man are making out. ICK!”

It’s “Those fags are making out. ICK!”


September 13th, 2012

It’s f-ing rural North Dakota. There isn’t quite the pool of available partners there that exists in, say, mid sized cities.

Donny D.

September 14th, 2012

I’m really surprised that the age difference betweeen two adult men in a relationship would matter to any of us. The disapproval of the age-disparate relationship here seems to be moralizing and little else. Clearly the ageism that afflicts the gay male community hasn’t gone away.

As to the supposition that the older man must have “issues” because he participated in something that allowed the coach an excuse to throw his young lover off the team, some people have a tendency toward impulsiveness hardwired into their brains, and even living to a ripe old age can have problems with impulsiveness till the day they die.

That said, maybe the two were just relaxed enough at the time that they felt a kiss wouldn’t be a problem.

As to the lie, it seems to me that the severity of penalties for lying are almost always proportional to the importance (to the penalizer) of thing that was lied about. Being thrown off the team is way too harsh for lying about something that doesn’t matter. So I don’t think the coach can get away with claiming that this is about integrity, not sexuality.


September 14th, 2012

As to the supposition that the older man must have “issues” because he participated in something that allowed the coach an excuse to throw his young lover off the team, some people have a tendency toward impulsiveness hardwired into their brains, and even living to a ripe old age can have problems with impulsiveness till the day they die.

A further problem with this is that I find it somewhat infantalizing toward the eighteen year old man. Hello? It is not the job of his boyfriend — regardless of how much said older boyfriend — to “look out for his well being.” There’s no indication that the younger man was not open to the kiss, and a relationship where the other person effectively says, “I know you want to do this, but I don’t think it’s in your best interests and I know what’s in your best interests better than you do” has serious problems.


September 17th, 2012

Well at least he’s pretty.

As a sports fan and a former sports journalist I can attest that people smooching in the press box can be a big distraction & while coaches get sanctimonious when they boot kids off the team, little things like lying are huge in the trust-based environment of coaching.

I can buy, in this particular context, that lying was the difference between a 6 game suspension & getting kicked off the team.

A couple other facts to keep in mind:
1. This kid was out to no-one on the team.
2. Coaches are in the press-box too.
3. Players and coaches on field talk to &/or look at or to coaches in the press box, often.
4. In real-time football is slow paced with lots of free time between plays.
5. In College Football being focused or not on the on-field play can literally decide the outcome of a game.
6. The stadium is probably tiny with the “press-box” consisting of a double-wide parked on the top of the home stands (I couldn’t find a picture nor a Snow College in Pueblo).

They were kissing between plays when other players & coaches are looking up toward the press-box for guidance from coaches who sit in the press-box for the entirety of the game who were themselves probably distracted by the “not-quite-making-out” going on in their midst. I’ve seen press boxes breakdown because the local booster club decided to bring up some barbeque for the press guys & the referees and the coaches couldn’t resist.

I think anyone smooching anyone in sight of a field full of 18-21 year old young men would’ve been a huge distraction. The fact that he wasn’t out compounds said distraction.


September 17th, 2012

Well, Blake, that certainly justifies him being kicked off the team, doesn’t it?

Supposedly the couple were the only ones in the press box so why were the players looking up there for coaching advise? Wasn’t the coach on the playing field?

And if you look up this article online you’ll see pictures of the press box, at the top of the bleachers, well away from the field, so why would what happened in it be a distraction? And why does that merit loss of his scholarship?


September 18th, 2012

Look I know football culture is weird but it is what it is. He got kicked off the team for lying. I heard at least one report that the coach asked him directly if he was gay and who the man was. Later he came out to the coach and admitted who the man was. Also, he broke the coaches’ trust by having someone unauthorized in the press box with him. He probably would’ve faced some discipline had it been a sibling or family member. More if it’d been a friend, and several games if it’d been a significant other. That he tried to lessen his punishment by claiming it was his grandfather compounds the infraction.

I would agree with an argument that posited that the coach acted in a manner which reflected insensitivity or ignorance toward the realities of the closet but I cannot agree that he was booted from the team for being gay. For being in the closet? Perhaps. For having a May-December romance? Perhaps. Because he’s gay? No. Because he lied? Yes.

Reports have alleged that players or coaches or both could see him almost making out with an old man from the field. I finally found the stadium, it’s called the Thunderbowl

They were playing a neutral site game. There are dual press boxes, so they could possibly be alone, but the stadium is not big. It seats 6,000. At the Georgia Dome, if one is on the sidelines, you can make out what the people who are sitting in the press box are doing. The lower bowl of the Georgia Dome seats about 30,000. This is Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta:

Allegedly it seats about 4,000 more than the Thunderbowl. I can attest that one can see exactly what’s going in in the press box when standing on the sideline & that stadium much taller & more compact in its seating layout than the Thunderbowl. I’d bet any sum that people on the field could see him smooching while he was supposed to be taping.

Regarding the scholarship: from the ABC article, link included,

Spaeth-Baum said that Kuntz was told that he could keep his scholarship even if he was not on the team, but that he chose to leave.

He’s in it for football not the sciences. I read in another report that he’s going to try to transfer to another JC & continue his collegiate career with aspersions on DI play.

Even if they were the only ones in the press-box (which I seriously doubt; there was, at least, a referee and at least a scorekeeper up there too if not at least one coach or graduate assistant along with the camera guy) the press-box is visible from the home teams’ sideline, the opposite press-box, and from the perspective of the players on the field. They timed their kisses, absentmindedly I’m sure, for the moment when the players are standing around and looking about: between plays.

Even if he was alone up there and he was only visible to people directly opposite in the other press box, word would have spread. Probably faster b/c of homophobia, but, still on field taunting would’ve insured that it became a distraction. The closet compounds said distraction b/c it leaves teammates “defending” a teammate on false grounds. If he’d been out they either wouldn’t of defended him or would’ve congratulated him but, either way it would’ve been less of a distraction.

In football there are lots of coaches. At least 3 coaches for every football team. A Head Coach, a Defensive Coordinator & an offensive coordinator. Most high schools have 5 to 8. Most big colleges colleges have 12. I would imagine Junior colleges have somewhere between 8 & 12 coaches.

When you have that many coaches you rely on trust a lot. It becomes extremely important that the coaches are telling you the truth and that those coaches can then, themselves, rely on their players to tell the truth. Also Game Tape, which is what Jamie was supposed to be making, is extremely important to football coaches.

He was entrusted with a serious job which he did not take seriously. When confronted about his actions he lied in an effort to lessen his punishment. While he later admitted to lying he also admitted that he had lied twice, that is, both about his sexual orientation and the identity his companion. Now those of us that are gay know what the closet it is like and how he could’ve felt that he was being extra-special-courageous by coming out to his coach and perhaps making up for the serious infraction of lying like a weasel. But his coach doesn’t watch Ellen or Bravo or Modern Family, he watches Game Tape.


September 18th, 2012

I’m so glad to know you were there to tell us EXACTLY what happened down to the actual timing.

Pray tell, how many times DID they kiss and were tongues involved?

Curious that a kid who was in the closet would choose to make out with his boyfriend in the press box with a referee standing right next to him AND then claim afterward that they were alone in the box.

And the punishment certainly fit the “crime”, didn’t it? Especially since we’ve heard that other players have violated school policy to the extent of actually breaking the law and are still on the team. Guess they didn’t break that oh-so-fragile trust.

Knowing how institutes like this school have behaved in the past I find Mr. Kuntz’s version of events far more likely.


September 18th, 2012


What Blake doesn’t seem to realize, is that his ENTIRE argument falls apart when the facts are looked at. The story clearly states that the young man was sent up to tape the program. Blake infers that he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing (tapint the game) because he got caught kissing in between plays. Hmmm, IN BETWEEN PLAYS. They don’t tape everything and if his kissing was in between plays, he still did his job. He taped the game. THAT and THAT ALONE was the reason he was in the box. He did what he was assigned to do. His kisses were inbetween plays, as Blake laied out in his lengthy descripton of the activity.

And I have never witnessed such disdain for a young gay person in my life from another supposedly gay individual. Yes, some young gay people lie about their orientation when confronted by authority figures in their lives. My, we have never heard of that have we?

And all the idiots on here going on about the age difference are just that, in my opinion, IDIOTS. We, as gay people, get condemned for loving who we love, and we fight for our rights, but some folks think that only means being able to be gay with those they feel appropriate for you. I remember when we, as a community, said love who you want. I never knew it was love who you want unless they are older than you. Love who you want unless they are younger than you, or any other such facism. Either one supports an individuals right to choose to love whom they love, or one doesn’t. If one doesn’t want to love an older person, one does not have to. BUT, one does NOT have the right to question ANYONE elses choice of whom to love. It’s no different than the anti-gay agenda to control who we love. And if one thinks it is, one is a liar.


September 18th, 2012

I will add a caveat, one does have the right to question when an idividual is involved in illegal activity in a relationship, such as a person under the legal age of consent being with someone well over the age of consent. Criminal activity is rightfully condemned.


September 18th, 2012

Robert, thank you. That’s what I’ve been saying this entire time!

And you’re completely right about the disdain shown. “At least he’s pretty.” What contempt displayed in four little words. “At least he’s pretty.”


September 24th, 2012

I know football culture seems weird. I know football culture. Whether you understand it as such or not what he committed was a major infraction from the perspective of a coach in football culture.

Personal trust is more important than social trust. You can stay on a team if you commit a crime if you’re honest to the coaches when confronted & if your story checks out as truthful. Of course there are team rules and context to consider.

The other exception which allows a kid to typically stay on a team if he commits a major infraction if he is indispensable. This kid was not good enough to fit into that category. Some of his teammates may have been.

Game tape is extremely important. Game taping duties are to be taken extremely seriously. Game tape is usually produced by a coach or a coach’s assistant. Having a player make the game tape is placing a huge amount of trust in the player. That player then having anyone in the booth would’ve been an infraction. Lying about having anyone in the booth would’ve been a greater infraction. Lying about the person in the booth in an attempt to lessen the punishment would be grounds to kick the kid off the team. That was not why he lied. He lied b/c he was in the closet. So was the coach insensitive to the realities of the closet and had he been he would’ve given the kid a second chance? Sure.

But he didn’t kick him off the team because he’s gay.

While I certainly look down on this kid for his naivety, youth, and foolishness I’m saving my disdain for the number of non-controversies that have been gaining extensive coverage in our echo-chamber lately.

This story being one.


September 24th, 2012


So your basic argument is: That’s just how it is, get over it.” With thought processes like that we will never achieve equality.

And what a foolish statement that the kid wasn’t vital enough to be on the team, if that were the fact they would not have given him a, gasp, full football scholarship. Those not good enough dont get them.

We all know the truth of the matter here, this kid was let go for being gay. Period.

And here’s what else we know, You excuse the actions and find them appropriate. If you didn’t we wouldn’t be hearing the argument “That’s just how football culture is”. Tell that to Chris Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo.
One only ellicits change by speaking out and challenging “The way it is”.

If we let it just stand, as you seem to imply, then we do not move forward. If others in our community follwed your advice we’d still all be cowering in a closet somewhere.

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Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.