A gay football player in North Dakota claims he was dismissed from the team because it became known that he was a homosexual, but school officials claim that he was removed from the team for conduct detrimental to the team.
Jamie Kuntz, who attended North Dakota State College of Sciences in Wahpeton, explained that during a recent game, he was sitting out because he had suffered an injury. He has been videotaping the game from the press box when he was seen by one of his teammates kissing his boyfriend who is 65 years old.
Word soon got back to the team's head coach, Chuck Parsons, who confronted Kuntz about the person he was seen with in the press box at the stadium; the player lied and said it was his grandfather. Kuntz later told his coach who the man really was after having second thoughts.
But Parsons had already issued his decision that the conduct Kuntz displayed- lying to his coaches- was grounds for dismissal from the team.
In the dismissal letter, which was published by the Associated Press and dated Sept. 3, Parsons explains the reasoning behind his decision was that Kuntz's actions constituted "conduct deemed detrimental to the team" for lying. That was specially outlined in the player's manual.
The school's president, John Richman, stated that he is backing the head coach's decision and believes Parson conducted himself in the same manner he would have for any other type of violation.
"This young man was not removed from the football team because of his sexual orientation. That is not the case. He was dismissed for not fulfilling, not doing the duties he was assigned to do. He lied about it, and he was insubordinate to the coach," Richman said in a statement.
"A student athlete was asked to perform a duty, chose to accept that and did not do that, and when you look to the policy under the possible disciplinary behavior, you can zero in on two: lying to coaches and insubordination," he added.