Jamie Kuntz may get a chance to play college football after all.
The Dickinson High School graduate became the subject of a national news story in September after he was removed from the North Dakota State College of Science football team two days after informing coaches that he was gay and admitted to violating team rules by inviting his 65-year-old male companion into the press box of a stadium in Pueblo, Colo., where he was filming the Wildcats’ game against Snow College.
Kuntz, a 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker, announced on Twitter and confirmed to The Dickinson Press on Wednesday that he has verbally committed to play for Palomar Community College in San Marcos, Calif.
Kuntz said he gave his verbal to Palomar linebackers coach Robert Bala, but he has not signed a letter of intent. He said Thursday that Bala was contacting his former coach at NDSCS, Chuck Parsons, as well as coaches at Dickinson High regarding Kuntz.
It is not an uncommon practice for college coaches to contact a player’s former coach before signing them to a letter of intent.
Kuntz’s situation, however, definitely calls for it.
NDSCS coaches removed Kuntz from the team on Sept. 5, two days after the game in Colorado, for what they told him was a violation of team rules. Kuntz’s story was first reported by gay rights advocate and journalist Dan Savage of TheStranger.com on Sept. 11 and soon after garnered national attention. It was soon picked up by nearly every national sports news organization, including ESPN.
Through it all, Kuntz maintained he hoped to again get a shot at playing college football. He has aspirations of one day playing for an NCAA Division I team.
Kuntz never played a game at NDSCS after. He said a concussion suffered in practice kept him off the field. He dropped out of NDSCS after being removed from the team, meaning he would still be a freshman in football eligibility.
Palomar is one of the top junior college football programs in California, having won three national and state championships. They’ve reached the postseason five of the past six seasons. The Comets have had had 27 players go on to the NFL and had more than 25 former players in NCAA Division I football last season.