UPDATE: Soccer star’s parents speak out, Stanford disciplinary action may have been a trigger

Daily Post Staff Writer

Saturday, March 5: The parents of Katie Meyer, the star Stanford soccer player whose death shocked and dismayed her fellow students and the sports world, said yesterday (March 4) that they’re struggling to know what happened to their daughter, and why she took her own life in a dorm room on Tuesday just months before she would graduate.

Steve and Gina Meyer made an emotional appearance on the “Today” show and said the only clue they have is an email Katie received telling her that she was in trouble.

“Katie, being Katie, was defending a teammate on campus over an incident and the repercussions of her defending that teammate (were possibly resulting in disciplinary action),” Steve Meyer said.

Katie had been getting letters for months about “a trial,” and the latest email was the university’s final decision, Gina Meyer said.

Steve and Gina said they haven’t seen the email and didn’t expand on the situation with Katie’s teammate.

“That’s the only thing we can come up with that may have triggered something,” Gina Meyer said.

Steve and Gina said that they spoke with Katie just hours before she died. She had a lot on her plate, but she was happy and in great spirits, Gina Meyer said.

“The usual jovial Katie,” Steve Meyer said.

Katie, 22, a senior majoring in International Relations, was a captain and goalkeeper for Stanford Women’s Soccer. Between school and sports, she was facing a lot of pressure, Gina said.

“There is anxiety and there is stress to be perfect, to be the best, to be No. 1,” Gina Meyer said.

Gina and Steve Meyer said they are speaking out so other parents don’t suffer the same tragedy.

“The last couple of days are a parent’s worst nightmare,” Gina said. “And you don’t wake up from it, so it’s just horrific.”

Gina Meyer wore a sweater that Katie was wearing in one of her last social media posts. “It smells like Katie … and I want to be close to her,” Gina Meyer said.

Friday, March 4: Katie Meyer, the star Stanford soccer player whose death sent shockwaves across campus, died by suicide, the Santa Clara County medical examiner-coroner announced yesterday (March 3).

Meyer, 22, was a captain and goalkeeper for Stanford Women’s Soccer. She was found in the dorm room where she was a resident assistant on Tuesday, and the university identified her on Wednesday.

The coroner said in a statement that Meyer’s death was self-inflicted and there was no foul play. Further details weren’t released.

Meyer, a senior majoring in International Relations, is at least the third Stanford student to die by suicide in the last 13 months. Medical student Rose Wong, 25, died in her dorm on Feb. 2, 2021. Undergraduate Jacob Meisel, 23, was killed by a train in Palo Alto on Aug. 2. And law student Dylan Simmons, 27, was found dead in his dorm on Jan. 20. The cause of Simmons’ death hasn’t been released.

Hundreds of students gathered on the soccer field on Wednesday to mourn Meyer. She was remembered as a confident and energetic leader and an advocate for women’s sports.

Wednesday, March 2: Katie Meyer, a goalkeeper and team captain for Stanford Women’s Soccer, died in her dorm yesterday (March 1), the university announced. She was 22.

The university didn’t release the circumstances surrounding her death or the cause.

Meyer, a senior majoring in International Relations, was “extraordinarily committed to everything and everyone in her world,” said Susie Brubaker-Cole, the vice provost for student affairs.

“Her friends describe her as a larger-than-life team player in all her pursuits,” Brubaker-Cole wrote. “Katie was a bright shining light for so many on the field and in our community.”

Meyer made two key saves in a penalty shootout against North Carolina to help Stanford win its third NCAA women’s soccer championship in 2019.

The saves, and her fired-up celebration afterwards, made it on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that night.

Meyer attended high school in Newbury Park, where she also played soccer and kicked for the football team.

Meyer is survived by her parents, Steven and Gina Meyer, and her sisters, Samantha and Siena.

Meyer was a resident assistant in her dorm.

Brubaker-Cole said the university is offering counseling at her residence hall and to student athletes. Details about opportunities to remember her as a community will be released later on.

Tuesday, March 1: A Stanford undergraduate student has been found dead in an on-campus residence, the university announced today (March 1).

Details about who the student was or how he or she died were not included in a notice from Susie Brubaker-Cole, the vice president of student affairs.

Police said there is no ongoing threat.

The university is reaching out to the student’s friends and families to provide support, Brubaker-Cole said.

“We are all heartbroken about this immense tragedy,” Brubaker-Cole said. “As more information becomes available, we will share it with you.”

Help is available

If you or somebody you know is in crisis, call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.


  1. Stanford should say how she died in order to put some of these rumors to rest. The vacuum of information is leading people to say some things that might not be true. The university owes it to Katie to be truthful, even if it hurts their image.

    • Please allow her family some privacy in which to grieve. While the public may be curious, the needs of the family are far greater than mere curiosity.

      • If Katie took her life, she will be the fourth suicide at Stanford in less than a year. Clearly sweeping it under the rug, as you suggest, isn’t working. It just increases the stigma associated with mental health. The best way to deal with this is openness. People shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about getting the help they need. But a “hush, hush” attitude only makes people hesitate about seeking assistance.

        • Is it fair to the family to force the details of their tragedy, however it was caused, into the public eye just to provide therapy to the public? It is of immense impact to the famiily, yet would have little benefit to the public at large other than to satisfy morbid curiosity.

          • As far as I can tell, the parents voluntarily gave an interview to NBC’s Today Show. It appears they sat down in front of a camera and wore microphones, clear signs this wasn’t a coerced interview. Are you saying they were forced to do that interview? If the parents decide to talk about what they’re going through, they will help other families in the same situation. I think you’re being overprotective.

            • Don’t engage Squidsie. He’s just a troll trying to get a reaction out of people by saying the stupidest thing possible.

              • In the race to be stupid I am unable to beat you. Your macabre fascination with this tragedy reveals you as an entitled ghoul. Go back to your favored reality TV show, or go for a drive in the hope that you’ll come across a fatal car wreck to gawk at.

            • My comments were made before the cause of death was released and the parents gave the interview. It was made in response to demands that the public was somehow entitled to learn the cause of death. While many younger people may feel that everything about their lives should be publicized on social media, other people prefer to maintain their privacy. It should be their choice. And they made the choice to share their tragedy.

  2. Stanford has this student discipline system that includes kangaroo courts in which the accused has the burden of proof. No wonder she was upset. Anyone who is falsely accused and can’t fight the accusations is depressed. Hopefully the administration will put an end to this sham court, but I won’t hold by breath.

    • Many elite universities have a sham student conduct process and there is little in the way of fairness to the student. It is difficult to truly grasp until you live through it. The pressure on a student is indescribable. It is definitely a “guilty until proven innocent” approach where a student is barraged with constant letters — repeatedly accused of even the smallest of infractions and threatened with probation, suspension and ultimately expulsion. There is little in the way of due process and the student conduct process typically ignores many of the basic rules of law that we expect from our legal system. All of a sudden, a student feels like an outcast. Those that are innocent feel so cornered that they capitulate and admit to the charges. What many students don’t realize is that if they intend to pursue graduate, law, medical school is that they will forever have to disclose this transgression on all sorts of future applications. You can’t even bring an outside attorney to these hearings. If you find yourself or your child in a similar situation, seek competent legal advice immediately. You can’t afford not to. It is amazing that this occurs at institutions of “higher learning” in this country with particularly those with supposedly top tier law schools. I sadly speak from direct experience. I can understand how this event may have caused a deep sense of despair for Katie. My heart breaks for her family. For every Dean out there involved in the student conduct process, it’s time to revamp and change they way that students are treated and parents or designated guardians should very much be part of the process. Surely, just like you can authorize medical release of records the same should hold true for educational records.

      • I wonder whether Katie was considering a career in the CIA or FBI after her graduation in a few months? (It was stated that she was interested in international relations, specifically security). The pending disciplinary action “could” definitely “ruin” those future plans for her. This is so very sad. I wish she would have told her parents of Stanford’s pending disciplinary actions and showed them the emails. They could have sought legal counsel for her and supported her through this situation. Hoping the family gets to the bottom of what happened.
        I’m so very sorry for your loss Meyer Family.

    • I can’t agree more. These elite schools’ disciplinary systems (especially, Stanford and Princeton) usually have a committee of 5 members: 3 are students while 2 are professors. The students in the committee are just sophomores or juniors with few experiences and can’t go against professors in the committee. So the decision of the committee of 5 is often led by one professor with a loud voice and strong opinion. The committee is supposed to make a decision based on “clear and persuasive” evidence, but its definition is any set of evidence that the committee “FEELS” clear and persuasive. If the committee feels a blurry image of an animal is a cat, then the image becomes clear and persuasive evidence that it is a cat while it is, in fact, a dog. A student can appeal to the judicial committee. The problem is that the judicial committee members are also professors who will, of course, be on the professor’s side. Even more serious is that the membership rotates every 2 or 3 years. Thus the members of the judicial committee are not EVEN familiar with the school’s written “rights, rule, and responsibilities” and don’t carry any responsibilities for their decisions. Even if their decision is found to be wrong, just like Katie’s case, nobody in the committees will be fired, and nobody will be responsible. Students cannot bring an outside lawyer, and thus there is literally no way to fight against an unfair decision and unreasonable process when falsely accused. The system would be so much better if there is an office of student integrity and if only the employees in the office — who are familiar with the written rules, will interpret rules as written, and will be responsible/fired when found wrong — handle cases. This is the system used in many state schools.

    • And Stanford hides behind confidentiality which hides what could have been a biased process finding Katie guilty. The school is the judge and jury in the process accountable to no party unless Katie’s parents hire a lawyer and find a way to take Stanford into a court of law. But before that Stanford will try to do a deal with Katie’s lawyers that will keep their process confidential with maybe her parents knowing but keeping their investigation and the likely reason for Katie’s death unknown to the community. No transparency or accountability for her death. Probably a Title 9 investigation.

      • If the settlement is kept confidential, Stanford will never feel any community pressure to change its ways. I hope this isn’t swept under the rug like so many other problems at Stanford!

      • I’m hoping Katie shared her pending disciplinary action from Stanford with some of her friends, fellow students, professors, coaches and teammates.
        They might be able to shed some light on her state of mind?
        Also, the teammate “she stuck up for” in the altercation would probably have much information.
        Did the person whom Katie had the altercation with, have friends in high places at Stanford?
        Does this person’s family donate a lot of money to Stanford?
        Was this disciplinary action a personal vendetta to ruin Katie’s future?
        Was Katie being threatened?
        Was Katie told what was going to happen to her?
        Was she afraid of what might happen?
        These are questions that should be explored.
        Also, even though Katie would not be allowed an attorney at the Stanford University hearing, legal counsel could advise her on “how best” to answer questions and perhaps help her to compose a letter to read to the court. Or, better yet, help her send a letter prior to the school court. hearing. Perhaps advise her on writing an apology letter?
        A young woman with so much to offer the world. So so sad! RIP dear Katie.

  3. Stanford should show more responsibility.
    Frankly, sometimes I have the feeling that being at this university is like being in a cult. If someone does not behave, not complying with their regulations, the person is out, in a very cold way (eg https://padailypost.com/2019/12/06/dad-takes-his-own-life-after-meeting-with-stanford-boss-family-fears-it-will-lose-home/). This university should change its philosophy as everyone is a human being including the board of trustess. I doubt they are all perfect. In general, some universities have somehow lost their real purpose, to help the world with a big heart…

  4. Hope you guys stay on this story. Stanford has some explaining to do. The few comments above describing university disciplinary boards – Bolshevik style show trials – are spot on.

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