Girlfriend of former kicker Matt Boermeester says his removal was the result of unfair investigation


Matt Boermeester, the former USC kicker who kicked the Rose Bowl-winning field goal, was suspended in February for a “student code of conduct” issue.

Senior Zoe Katz, the girlfriend of former USC football placekicker Matt Boermeester, said in a statement through her attorney obtained by the Daily Trojan that the Title IX investigation that led to his removal from campus and the football team was unfair to both parties.

Boermeester was suspended in February for what USC classified as a “student code of conduct” issue.

Katz’s attorney, Kerry Steigerwalt, said to the Daily Trojan that the investigation that led to Boermeester’s suspension and his subsequent removal, was into an altercation outside of her home where Boermeester allegedly pushed her against a wall. Katz said a neighbor witnessed the altercation and he reported the incident to a coach in the athletic department, who referred it to the Title IX office.

Steigerwalt said the incident was misconstrued, and that Boermeester pulled Katz into a hug against the wall without any aggressive force. Katz maintains in her statement that Boermeester was never violent toward her.

“I want to be very clear that I have never been abused, assaulted or otherwise mistreated by Matt,” Katz said.

In the statement, Katz said she felt the investigation, which took six months, was “horrible and unjust.” She claimed that “terrible and untrue” things were said about Boermeester, and that her statements were “intentionally misrepresented, misquoted and taken out of context.”

“When I told the truth about Matt, in repeated interrogations, I was stereotyped and was told I must be a ‘battered’ woman, and that made me feel demeaned and absurdly profiled,” Katz wrote. “I understand that domestic violence is a terrible problem, but in no way does that apply to me.”

Steigerwalt said when Katz was first called into the Title IX office, she was unaware of why she was being called in. In her statement, Katz said that she was told she “must be afraid” of Boermeester, but claimed she wasn’t.

“She was incredulous over the suggestion that [Boermeester’s] actions were aggressive,” Steigerwalt said.

According to Katz, Boermeester was suspended by USC before being interviewed by the Title IX office. She claimed he was removed from the football team, unable to rehabilitate his knee with trainers after having knee surgery two weeks prior and was not allowed to contact her.

Katz also stated that others in the USC community could not talk to Boermeester or face investigation themselves, and that she could also face charges if she contacted anyone the office called in as witnesses.

Katz spent four seasons on the women’s tennis team and was an all-conference player along with serving as team captain. She said she was determined to have her voice heard, but added she is afraid of the Title IX office.

“Facts and fairness are supposed to govern Title IX and not agendas, intimidation and falsehoods,” she wrote. “I am so sad that a rogue group like the Title IX office can bring down this amazing school.”

Boermeester, who kicked the game-winning field goal in the Rose Bowl last season, was not listed on the roster as the football team began fall practice on Saturday. USC confirmed on Sunday that Boermeester was no longer enrolled at the University.

In response to Katz’s statement, the University defended its investigation.

“USC stands by its investigation and the accounts provided by multiple witnesses,” a USC spokesperson said. “As previously stated, student disciplinary records are confidential.  If the students involved waive their confidentiality rights, the University will offer a detailed response.”

Matt Boermeester’s attorney, Mark Schamel could not be immediately reached for comment.

  • Opine

    Meanwhile, over at Keck…Gretchen Dahlinger Means should be in jail and hit with a civil suit.

  • Sai H

    She should consider filing a lawsuit, but that’s just me.

  • roccolore

    Clearly, USC didn’t learn from the Duke lacrosse rape hoax.

  • mdsman

    Why are schools even involved in these incidents.
    If there is an accusation made, turn it oover to the police and DA

  • mdsman

    Congratulations!!!
    You have made the list of “Schools from which I won’t hire”

    • arumat

      That’s pretty much all of them then.

  • USMNTfan4life

    Schools like USC are now so scared to show equal protection under the law. They simply make unfair disciplinary decisions that punish students before being able to defend themselves under the law. I feel bad for the Matt, and I hope he sues the school to get back his honor.

  • Jose Rodriguez

    To attack and unjustly ruin a young man’s life is one of the most reprehensible things a human being can do.
    Despite his own alleged victim stating that she was never abused, the office proceeded to persecute this young man.

    How many cockroaches do you need to see in your food before you send it back? Just one. Same case here.
    There were a plethora of holes and lapses in this case; the case reasonably should have been dismissed and sent back, yet the Title IX office relentlessly pursued Matt.

    Per this young lady’s statements, U.S.C.’s Title IX office lied, used harassment and intimidation tactics, intentionally ignored exculpatory evidence and manipulated witnesses and evidence in order to conclude a pre-determined guilt. U.S.C.’s Title IX office wanted a football player. The Title IX office was looking to win a case against a football player in order to raise their profiles and reputations within the U.S.C. administration. When they found a case related to the famous kicker of the Rose-Bowl, it was the opportunity they were looking for.

    I am glad this young lady found the courage to expose the gender bias and unfairness of U.S.C.’s Title IX process; and I am glad the whole world now knows of the silent atrocities occurring on U.S.C.’s campus.

    These “witch-trials” are very concerning and is something I hope U.S.C. attends these concerns and makes changes for the better. I know there are many students nationwide who wish to attend U.S.C. for athletic, academic or musical endeavors, and I cannot say I encourage any male to do so knowing they risk violations of due process and destruction of their careers by individuals with no moral conscious or compass in the lives they destroy.

  • Mario Gutierrez

    lawsuit

  • Mr. Hand

    “…reported the incident to a coach in the athletic department, who referred it to the Title IX office.”

    I wonder what the coach would have done if the “abuser” was Sam Darnold.

  • Roberto Nazario

    How the fuck is it possible that even if the person whom you are accused of assaulting comes out and says that you didn’t assault them, does not report you, does not press charges, defends your name, etc., you can still be found guilty of something and lose privileges at a school? How is that anything other than pure insanity?

    • John James

      Yup, because the Title IX office will deem that person a “battered woman” who is only lying out of fear. Even if there are no prior cases, or other independent witnesses. Even if there is no evidence or history of abuse. Even if the accused has never been guilty of so much as a parking ticket, it does not matter. None of this matters when it comes to Title IX.

      Male students (and their parents) need to be made aware of the power these offices have to ruin lives and set campus policy. Title 9 offices and officers have been allowed to grow into all powerful entities that have nearly unlimited authority on college campuses to set policy, investigate, and hand out punishments. Just think, your son is just one overzealous Title IX officer aways from being labelled as a “rapist,” “abuser,” or “woman-beater” for the rest of his life. Your daughter is one Title IX officer away from being labelled a “liar,” a “battered-woman”, or a “rape apologist.”

      What’s important to remember is that this case is neither rare or unique. Things like this happen every single day in Title iX offices across the country. Hell, what do you expect, cases like this benefit the Title IX office. The more infractions and guilty verdicts they process = the more they are able to justify their existence on campus. More importantly, cases like this help the office and officer grow bigger and more powerful on campus, which only gives them even more influence. Just a minor conflict of interest i’d say.

      Lastly….who knows if there is more to this than we’re being told. Maybe Matt is a habitual abuser, maybe he isn’t. But when Title IX is involved it doesn’t matter. If you’re a guy and you are accused of something: you’re guilty.

    • Gary Deezy

      There is some truth in the fact that sometimes the victims are reluctant or plain out afraid for their lives, so that don’t come forward, or they deny the event happened.

      There is no evidence of that in this case, and I think it is sad they are making assumptions that are destroying two college kids’ academic careers.

  • Vince Freeman

    What kind of law allows a person to be prosecuted unjustly with deception, then prevents disclosure of the evidence, proceedings and testimony? Title IX is unchecked, Absolute power corrupts absolutely.