Matt Boermeester, the former kicker expelled from USC, cannot return to campus, a court ruled on Friday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Amy D. Hogue stayed the expulsion, but ruled that Boermeester would not be allowed to re-enroll at USC or return to the campus until further notice.
A trial on the petition filed by Boermeester’s attorney asking for Boermeester’s expulsion to be reversed and for his reinstatement at the University will be held on Jan. 3.
Boermeester was expelled and removed from the campus in July, after a USC Title IX investigation ruled that he had violated the student code of conduct following an alleged violent altercation with his girlfriend, fellow USC student Zoe Katz, in which he was accused of placing his hands around Katz’s neck and pushing her against a wall at least twice around midnight on Jan. 21.
Katz wrote a letter through her attorney in July calling Boermeester’s expulsion unfair to both parties, and she denied ever being abused, assaulted or mistreated by him. Katz added that she was intimidated by USC’s Title IX office.
But in her initial statement to Title IX investigators, revealed in a USC court filing last month, Katz said that she would often have bruises on her legs and arms because Boermeester would “hit her or grab her tightly when he was angry.”
The court ruling comes a day after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos used Boermeester’s case as an example in her plans to roll back Obama-era Title IX regulations that she claims are unfair toward those who are accused.
“The young woman repeatedly assured campus officials she had not been abused nor had any misconduct occurred,” DeVos said during a speech at George Mason University in Virginia. “But because of the failed system, university administrators told her they knew better.”
Shortly after the ruling, Provost Michael Quick sent out a memorandum reinforcing the University’s commitment to the mission of its Title IX office.
“In light of recent news about suggested revisions to federal guidance under Title IX, I want to reassure our campus community that we will continue to take seriously our responsibility to handle sexual misconduct on our campuses,” Quick wrote. “It simply cannot be overstated: this university will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form, whether it is sexual violence, abuse, stalking, intimate partner violence, harassment, or discrimination.”
Though Quick did not directly address either the Boermeester case or DeVos’ comments, he defended the procedures used by the Title IX office and spoke to their role in preserving the rights of all parties involved.
“Over the past several years, we have worked hard to create standards and processes that are fair and protect the rights of all parties, but which have serious consequences for those who are found responsible for violating USC policy,” Quick wrote.
Boermeester, a redshirt junior placekicker on the football team last season, kicked the game-winning field goal in the Rose Bowl in January.