The girlfriend of former USC kicker Matt Boermeester has spoken out following his removal from the team.
Last week, former USC kicker Matt Boermeester was removed from the roster following a suspension for "conduct issues" this past February.
Since then, some disturbing details have come out surrounding his suspension and subsequent dismissal.
According to Boermeester's girlfriend, USC senior Zoe Katz, the two have been repeatedly victimized by USC's Title IX office.
In a statement through her attorney, Katz made clear that she has "never been abused, assaulted or otherwise mistreated" by Boermeester. She goes on to say that the entire investigation into Boermeester's alleged infractions was "horrible and unjust."
Moreover, according to Katz' attorney, the alleged altercation that led to Boermeester's suspension was nothing more than "a hug" that had been "misconstrued," per the Daily Trojan.
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.
Here is Katz' full statement, per The College Fix:
I really do not know how to make a statement like this but I am determined to try to have my voice heard.
I am Zoe Katz and I am a 22 year old student athlete at USC (captain of the women’s tennis team), nationally
ranked singles player and have been dating Matt Boermeester for well over a year. Matt, the Trojan kicker who helped win the Rose Bowl, has been falsely accused of conduct involving me.
The fact that I have to publicly state this truth is because of how both Matt and I have been treated by USC's Title IX office.
I am speaking up now because this horrible and unjust six-month process has finally concluded. I will tell you that I am afraid of USC’s Title IX office. I hope that my comments will not cause USC's Title IX office to further retaliate against me in any way.
I want to be very clear that I have never been abused, assaulted or otherwise mistreated by Matt. He is an incredible person, and I am and have been 100% behind him. Nothing happened that warranted an investigation, much less the unfair, biased and drawn out process that we have been forced to endure quietly.
Terrible and untrue things have been said about Matt by people who don't even know him, including apparently the third party who contacted Title IX, and these bizarre assertions have been treated as fact in this investigation. Words, including mine, have been incompetently or intentionally misrepresented, misquoted and taken out of context, which should not be that surprising since no statements were recorded or verified.
The first time I was mandated to come in and be interviewed by the Title IX office, I was told that I must be afraid of Matt, which I definitely was not and am not. 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. I understand that domestic violence is a terrible problem, but in no way does that apply to Matt and me.
On one occasion I was told to come in to view a videotape - which I was happy to do - and then nothing was shown to me. It ended up being just another interrogation. I feel I was misled, harassed, threatened and discriminated against by the Title IX office to such an extent that I had to retain my own attorney during the process to protect myself and to try to get them to listen to me. The Title IX office’s response was dismissive and demeaning, "We are sorry you feel that way."
Looking back, Matt never had a chance. Before he was even interviewed by the Title IX investigator, he was suspended from the University. He was not permitted to go to class or be on campus (he had two classes left to graduate and he was not allowed to take them elsewhere), he was not permitted to rehabilitate his knee with our trainers (he had surgery by USC doctors two weeks before), he was publicly removed from the football team and all of its activities, he was forbidden to contact me because of an unfounded concern about my safety (it was a one-way no contact order, and every one of my repeated attempts and those of my own attorney to have it lifted it were denied), and he was told he could not talk about the matter or he would potentially face another alleged violation of the policy.
Others in the University community were told they could not talk to Matt or they could be investigated too. He was completely cut off from his school and the team he had kicked to victory in the Rose Bowl. I was told that if I contacted Matt, "things would not go well for him." I was also told that I could be charged and investigated if I spoke to anyone who they decided to call in as possible “witnesses."
Matt and I love USC. We have given our best on the tennis court and on the football field. I do not understand how this situation could have been allowed to happen, especially at USC.
The USC I know and really love upholds values like family, trust and excellence. Facts and fairness are supposed to govern Title IX and not agendas, intimidation and falsehoods. I am so sad that a rogue group like the Title IX office can bring down this amazing school. On behalf of all Trojans, I have to speak up. But more importantly, I am speaking up for myself and for Matt. I will not permit anyone to portray me as a victim, I am not. Nor will I stand by silently and watch a good person like Matt be railroaded by a rigged system.
Matt Boermeester did nothing improper against me, ever. I would not stand for it. Nor will I stand for watching him be maligned and lied about, and I implore the USC community to stand together to stop this from happening to Matt or anyone else.
I know we are not alone.
We'll update as more information becomes available.