After Title IX Investigation, USC Kicker Barred from School has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

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The Daily News of Los Angeles


Matt Boermeester, the USC placekicker who made the winning field goal in the Rose Bowl in January, is not permitted to return to the university, his attorney, Mark Schamel, said Sunday night.

The school discipline followed from an investigation led by USC's Title IX Office, said Zoe Katz, Boermeester's girlfriend, in a statement provided to the Southern California News Group.

USC began a Title IX investigation in late January after an allegation that Boermeester pushed Katz in the driveway of her home near the University Park campus, Schamel said. Boermeester and Katz denied this. Katz said the allegation was made by a "third party."

Katz, 22 and a senior, was an all-conference player on USC's women's tennis team. She is expected to graduate this fall and issued the statement which called the investigation "unfair" and "biased" and that Boermeester, 23, "has been falsely accused of conduct involving me."

In February, the university announced Boermeester had been suspended for an unspecified "student code of conduct issue."

Boermeester was removed from the roster of the Trojans' football team, which opened training camp on Saturday. He would have been a redshirt senior this season. In 2016, his first season as the Trojans' starting kicker, Boermeester made 18 of 25 field-goal attempts, including the 46-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Penn State in the Rose Bowl.

Title IX investigators contacted Katz three days after the alleged incident occurred on Jan. 20, according to her attorney, Kerry Steigerwalt.

Steigerwalt said a complaint was first made to the Title IX Office by a men's tennis coach at the university. A player on the team, who was also a neighbor of Katz, told the coach he witnessed an incident between her and Boermeester.

In her statement, Katz said she was told by the investigators that she was in an abusive relationship and was "told that I must be afraid of Matt."

"I was stereotyped and was told I must be a "battered" woman, and that made me feel demeaned and absurdly profiled," Katz said in a statement. "I understand that domestic violence is a terrible problem, but in no way does that apply to Matt and me."

During the investigation, Katz said the university issued a no-contact order against Boermeester, preventing him from communicating with her. As he was suspended from the football team, he was also prohibited from using its facilities to rehab a knee injury, she said. He underwent surgery after the Rose Bowl.

Katz said investigators led her to feel, "misled, harassed, threatened and discriminated."

"She feels her protests are falling on deaf ears," Steigerwalt told the Southern California News Group.

Steigerwalt said Katz filed a separate complaint with the Title IX Office after its investigation concluded in June.

A USC spokesman wrote in a statement late Sunday, "The university has concluded its investigation. Student disciplinary records and proceedings regarding any matter of student conduct are confidential and protected by law. Per the registrar, he (Boermeester) is no longer enrolled at the university."

Katz said she has dated Boermeester for more than a year.

"I want to be very clear that I have never been abused, assaulted or otherwise mistreated by Matt," Katz said in her statement.

Schamel, Boermeester's attorney, said "Zoe Katz's statement speaks for itself."

Katz said she decided to address the issue publicly in order to speak up for herself and Boermeester and highlight flaws in the Title IX investigatory process, what she called a "rigged system."

The Title IX investigation ended this summer, prompting Katz to come forward now. She previously filed an appeal with the Title IX Office, according to Steigerwalt, along with an appeal by Boermeester.

USC is a private university, but required under the federal Title IX statute, to investigate claims of sexual violence.

Boermeester is not the Trojans' first football player to face Title IX discipline in past years.

The university opened Title IX investigations last year into, Osa Masina and Don Hill, suspending the linebackers in September 2016 after allegations of sexual assault, said Greg Skordas, Masina's attorney. A preliminary investigation recommended that Masina be expelled from the university earlier this year. The decision that was later appealed. The result of the investigation into Hill was not clear.

Criminal chargers were dropped in Los Angeles for the two players, but Masina is scheduled to stand trial in Salt Lake City this fall for a separate sexual-assault allegation.

Bryce Dixon, a former tight end, was also expelled in May 2015 following a Title IX investigation for an alleged sexual assault. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge later reinstated him to the university, but not to the football team.

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August 2, 2017


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