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WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 14, 2012, 10:09 PM

First game back for NDSCS since the public dismissal of a player

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) -- In their first appearance since the dismissal of freshman Jamie Kuntz, the NDSCS Wildcats took the field against Mayville State's JV Squad tonight in Wahpeton.

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) -- In their first appearance since the dismissal of freshman Jamie Kuntz, the NDSCS Wildcats took the field against Mayville State's JV Squad tonight in Wahpeton.

Kuntz says he was dismissed from the team on Monday for being gay. There were talks of dozens of protestors and national TV organizations at tonight's game. Not the case. In fact the most unusual thing about tonight's game, is that there was nothing unusual.

It was a special edition of Friday night college Football in a town suddenly thrown into the national spotlight. But there were no protest signs, no demonstrations. Just fans standing behind their team..

Justin Mielke: "They're warned any misconduct or distraction during game day is subject for automatic dismissal."

The controversy started after players saw Kuntz kissing a 65-year-old man in the press box during last weekends game in Colorado.

Mielke: "Which I've heard from several different friends who were on the team that they were very distracted and not able to focus."

When confronted, Kuntz told head coach Chuck Parsons that it was his grandfather, but later admitted it was his boyfriend.

The Dickinson native was then kicked off the squad for, quote, "Conduct detrimental to the team." But the school says that conduct was not based on his sexuality.

Jason Winge: "In any other situation where a regular football player was caught cheating or lying, they might not have been dismissed, so he has some basis probably."

Gage Hilborn: "I don't know if should have gone as far as a suspension."

And for everyone we talked to tonight, the issue of gay or straight should have no effect on who's allowed to take the field.

Hilborn: "I don't see a problem with it."

Winge: "Just like everyone else."

Many people we talked to tonight would not go on camera, saying they still don't know exactly how they feel about the situation. Kuntz has since left the school entirely and moved back to Dickinson.

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