A male student is suing his former university after the school expelled him for horsing around with his girlfriend.
The University of Southern California (USC) was told by another student in 2017 that Matt Boermeester choked his girlfriend Zoe Katz and slammed her against a wall. The couple, who is still together, insisted that they were just playing around and that nothing untoward happened.
USC, however, saw things differently, and reached out to Katz to help her.
As I reported previously at the Federalist, administrators in the school’s Title IX office allegedly told her she was a victim, even as she denied being one. She said one administrator told her, “I’m sorry that you feel that way” when she denied being attacked by her boyfriend. School officials, according to Katz, claimed she had battered wife syndrome and just couldn’t see that she was a victim.
Boermeester, USC’s kicker, was in danger of expulsion. His then-attorney, Mark Hathaway, filed a petition in court to compel USC to release surveillance video from the night of the alleged incident. Both students claim the tape is consistent with what they said happened that night.
Katz said at the time that USC threatened to punish her after she tweeted about the situation, telling her, “You’re jeopardizing and interfering with an ongoing investigation. You do that again, there could be consequences for you. Don’t ever tweet anything like that again.”
USC refused to believe a woman who claimed to not be a victim really wasn’t a victim, and then allegedly retaliated against her — a person they believed was a victim.
Boermeester was eventually expelled and is now suing USC for destroying his academic and athletic careers, according to ESPN. In a statement to the outlet, Boermeester again explained what really happened that night.
"The 'something' was in fact Zoe and I joking around in the parking lot, throwing McDonald's French fries at each other," Boermeester said. "At no time did Zoe ever file a complaint with USC or the LAPD. Instead, because I was a football player, USC's Title IX investigators, headed by Ms. [Gretchen] Dahlinger Means, automatically branded me guilty."
Boermeester is now represented by attorney Andrew Miltenberg, who told ESPN in a statement that the school subscribed to “anti-male stereotypes.”
"What happened to Matt Boermeester at USC should terrify anyone who believes in the right to due process and innocent-until-proven-guilty," Miltenberg said. "By subscribing to anti-male stereotypes and insisting that the girlfriend of a football player must somehow be a victim, [Means] and USC officials have made a complete mockery of the Title IX process. The process my client was forced to endure and the end result was nothing less than abusive."
Boermeester is seeking to have his punishment overturned and his record cleared. He wants to be reinstated to the football team and, of course, is seeking monetary damages. The former student is reportedly continuing to practice kicking in order to stay in shape for a return to the football field and still dreams of playing in the NFL.
He and Katz are still dating, and she still maintains that he is innocent and that the two were just horsing around.