Former Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Quintez Cephus is still waiting on a decision regarding his reinstatement to the university and his attorney is accusing the university of deliberately stalling.
Cephus was acquitted on multiple sexual assault charges earlier this month, charges that resulted in him being kicked off the team and out of the university. He applied for reinstatement just four days after a jury found him not guilty on all counts.
Cephus’ attorney, Stephen Meyer, said on Monday that discussions with the university have “collapsed,” according to the Associated Press, and that they are sending a “clear message” that they do not want him back.
“The university needs to think about how the nationwide public and how people of color will view this institution,” Meyer said, via the Wisconsin State Journal. “Use and be guided by the values that this university has. Do the right thing.”
Cephus was acquitted on multiple counts of sexual assault earlier this month after a pair of women said he had sex with them at his apartment last April without their consent. Cephus was suspended from the team shortly after he was charged in August and expelled from the school earlier this year for violating its non-academic misconduct code. The jury deliberated for less than 45 minutes before clearing him on both the second- and first-degree sexual assault charges.
He applied for reinstatement on August 6 via written petition, which will be decided by university Chancellor Rebecca Blank.
Wisconsin released a statement on Monday morning that said a decision regarding his petition has not been reached, and that he will receive the same treatment as any other student. It also noted, per the report, that its code of conduct is different from criminal law and that “students may be held responsible for violations of the code regardless of whether those violations are also criminal.”
“UW-Madison is committed to performing a complete and thorough review of any petition for reinstatement that it receives. In most cases this involves a full review of all relevant court records, which in this case were not provided in the petition,” the statement said, via the Wisconsin State Journal. “We are working to gather this information currently and will complete our review of the petition as quickly as possible once we have it.”
Cephus still has teammates’ support
Despite him missing the entire season last fall, Cephus still has the support of many of his former teammates — and holds no ill-will toward the football program.
“The whole time I’ve had the support of my brothers and everybody who knew me,” Cephus said, via the Wisconsin State Journal. “I’ve had a chance to show my real character outside of sports.”
Eighteen of his former teammates even stood by him on Monday at a press conference to show their support, and many even sent a letter to Blank asking her to do “what is right and fair.”
“You have all the facts,” the letter read, via the Wisconsin State Journal. “You and your staff now have an opportunity to make a fully informed decision for the first time. Your decision can alleviate a racial tension felt by your students. You get to decide if the University confirms or corrects this feeling.”
Cephus had recorded 595 yards and six touchdowns on 34 receptions over two seasons with Wisconsin, and was expected to be one of the Badgers’ top targets last year. Coach Paul Chryst said that the team would welcome him back with open arms this season, too, should he be readmitted to the university.
While Cephus would love to play at Wisconsin again, Meyer said the focus is on simply getting the expulsion reversed first. It’s an “integrity” issue, he said, that has nothing to do with football.
“We expect a prompt correction of the wrong that has been committed against this young man,” Meyer said, via the Wisconsin State Journal. “How much more damage has to be done to him?”
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