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.

A teammate apparently saw the kiss and told coaches, Kuntz said. When Parsons confronted Kuntz on the bus ride back to North Dakota, Kuntz told him the man he kissed was his grandfather.

“I lied,” Kuntz said.

Later, he felt guilty about lying and came clean to his coach.

John Richman, North Dakota State College of Science president, said he believes Kuntz’s case was handled “fairly and consistently” by the athletic department.