UW-Madison announced Monday it has reinstated former Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Quintez Cephus to the university — a year to the day after he told his team he had to step down and face criminal charges.
The university expelled Cephus last semester for violating the non-academic misconduct code following accusations of sexual assault from two women. A Dane County jury acquitted him of those charges earlier this month after deliberating for less than an hour.
Cephus, 21, was suspended from the team in August 2018 because of the women’s accusations. He maintains the sex was consensual.
He said at a Monday news conference that he learned of his reinstatement while flying back to Madison from his hometown of Macon, Georgia. He said he is ready to start winning football games and anticipates playing this season.
UW Athletics said in a statement Cephus has officially rejoined the team, but must work through some “eligibility issues” before he can participate in a game. UW Athletics spokesman Brian Lucas declined to clarify those issues. He also said Cephus’ athletic scholarship had been restored.
By law, he did not do anything wrong. A government institution should not ban people based on unproven accusations. The university did the right thing here.
I do think, however, that the university needs to rethink its policies for accusations. Cephus was expelled and kicked off campus based on an accusation that was later shown to be without merit. While the university has a duty to protect other students and faculty from people who they think might be dangerous, they should not be in the business of handing down such severe punishments, like expulsion, based on an unproven accusation.