- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The girlfriend of former USC placekicker Matt Boermeester is accusing the university of conducting an unfair Title IX investigation and removing him from the football team for alleged abuse that she says never happened.

In a statement through her lawyer, Zoe Katz, a 22-year-old senior, told the Los Angeles Times that a neighbor witnessed her and her boyfriend “roughhousing” outside of their house and notified USC’s athletic department.

Mr. Boermeester and Ms. Katz, who have dated for more than a year, both maintained that they were just playing around and the incident had been misinterpreted. When summoned by USC Title IX officials, Ms. Katz denied the allegation of abuse.

But a Title IX investigation had already been set in motion, and USC suspended Mr. Boermeester in February for what it called a “student-conduct issue.” He has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

Ms. Katz said USC administrators treated her as if she were suffering from battered woman syndrome and “must be afraid” of her boyfriend. She called the Title IX office “dismissive and demeaning.”

“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,” Ms. Katz said. “I understand that domestic violence is a terrible problem, but in no way does that apply to Matt and me.”

A spokesman for USC said the university had “concluded its investigation,” and Mr. Boermeester is “no longer enrolled in the university.”

In a follow-up statement to the Los Angeles Times on Monday, the university said it “stands by its investigation and the accounts provided by multiple witnesses.”

Mr. Boermeester kicked the game-winning field goal in last season’s Rose Bowl, in which USC beat Penn State 52-49.

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