MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Former Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus has been cleared to return to school after a jury acquitted him of sexual assault charges.
The school announced Chancellor Rebecca Blank’s decision in a statement Monday that said the university had obtained information that wasn’t provided during a student conduct review. The statement said sanctions against Cephus have been “reduced” and his expulsion has been lifted, though some conduct violations were upheld.
The statement didn’t elaborate. Wisconsin spokesman John Lucas said he had no information on what the school had learned and declined to comment on what conduct violations were upheld. Cephus’ attorney, Stephen Meyer, didn’t immediately return a voicemail.
Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst has said he would welcome Cephus back. It wasn’t immediately clear when he would return to the team. Wisconsin football spokesman Brian Lucas said he didn’t have any information on a possible date and a previously scheduled post-practice availability with players Monday was canceled “in light of today’s news.”
Cephus, 21, of Macon, Georgia, was suspended from the team in August 2018 after he was charged with second- and third-degree sexual assault. Prosecutors charged him after two women came forward and accused him of sexually assaulting both of them on the same night in his apartment in April 2018 when they were too drunk to consent.
Cephus countered that the sex was consensual and was arranged by one of his accusers. The school expelled him earlier this year for violating its nonacademic misconduct code.
A jury acquitted him Aug. 6 after deliberating for less than an hour. Meyer and Cephus’ former teammates have been pressuring Blank to let Cephus return to school since then. Quarterback Jack Coan and running back Jonathan Taylor, a Heisman Trophy contender, appeared at a news conference last week urging Blank to reinstate him.
Blank said in the school’s statement that she hopes her decision won’t deter sexual assault victims from coming forward.
“Our university continues to be prepared to listen and respond,” she said.