Wisconsin reinstates WR Cephus, return to team probable

Field Level Media

August 19, 2019 at 7:59 pm.

Quintez Cephus was reinistated Monday as a student at Wisconsin, opening the door to the wide receiver’s return to the football team.

The decision came exactly one year after Cephus announced he was leaving the Badgers to fight sexual assault charges against him. The university subsequently expelled him.

The university’s latest action came after a jury in Dane County, Wis., found him not guilty of two counts of sexual assault on Aug. 2, returning a verdict in less than an hour. In a statement, Wisconsin-Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank acknowledged the difficult situation.

“I know the past year has been painful for everyone involved,” Blank said. “I recognize that some will disagree with this decision.

“To those in our community who have experienced sexual assault, I sincerely hope that there is nothing in this case that will deter you from coming forward for support.”

After the verdict, Cephus, 21, petitioned for reinstatement, but his attorneys subsequently accused university officials of dragging their feet on the decision.

Current and former Wisconsin players also fought for his return, lobbying on social media and using the hashtag #letQTplay.

On Monday, Cephus’ attorney, Stephen Meyer, issued a statement thanking the university for “doing the right thing by giving Quintez Cephus his life back in time to pursue his academic and athletic dreams.”

Cephus, 21, appeared in 23 games for the Badgers over the 2016 and ’17 seasons, catching 34 passes for 595 yards and six touchdowns.

When Cephus could resume his Badgers career was unclear Monday, though coach Paul Chryst said he wanted the Georgia native to return when he made his first comments after the trial on Aug. 8.

“If it’s best for Q, and it truly is for him, then I know his teammates and I know how we feel, then we’d welcome him back,” Chryst said. “We’ve talked to the guys about it. It’s not what’s best for us. It’s what’s best for him.”