Bill Snyder commends Scott Frantz’s decision to announce he’s gay

Kansas State quarterback Alex Delton (5) and offensive lineman Scott Frantz (74) celebrate a touchdown by fullback Winston Dimel, middle, during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri State in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.

Frisco, Texas — Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder admitted he had some initial hesitations when Scott Frantz told him he wanted to reveal his sexual orientation publicly.

But after talking with Frantz, a Free State High graduate, over an “extensive” period of time, Snyder said he was impressed by Frantz’s message of being an openly gay player, only one of two openly gay players in Division I college football.

“What he wanted to do was help others, number one. That was important to me,” Snyder said Monday at the Big 12 football media days at Ford Center. “Number two, he wanted the opportunity to feel free to live his life as he would like to do so, and he felt hindered prior to that being able to do so.”

In an interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe last week, Frantz announced that he is gay and that he told his Kansas State teammates in 2015 during a team-building activity.

Snyder said he appreciated the response from his coaching staff and Frantz’s teammates, which he summarized as, “OK, fine, let’s move on. So what? So to speak.”

“They cared about him,” Snyder said. “He cared about his teammates. The coaches cared about him. He cared about the coaches. So it wasn’t a major issue.”

Snyder, 77, met with Frantz several times this year to discuss a potential public announcement. The coach, entering his 26th season, had some “uncertainty” and talked about the negative impact it could have from the fan base, social media and others.

Through more meetings, Snyder said he was impressed by Frantz’s willingness to make the announcement for “the right reasons.”

“I thought the idea that he could help others really hit home with me at the time,” Snyder said. “So we decided to allow it to happen, and I think the response has been excellent to this point in time. So I’m proud of him. I’m proud of our players and how they handled it.”

Frantz, a redshirt sophomore, started all 13 games last season at left tackle. The 6-foot-5, 297-pound lineman was named to the Associated Press All-Bowl team for his performance in the Texas Bowl against Texas A&M.

In the days following his announcement, Frantz’s teammates were happy to see a positive reaction on social media.

“Scott’s doing great,” Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner said. “Scott hasn’t even moved a budge since he came out on ESPN. He’s more happy than I’ve seen him ever be.”