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