MADISON, Wis. - Former Badger football player Quintez Cephus made what his attorneys call his “final plea” Monday at a press conference, asking UW-Madison to readmit him before the fall semester begins.
This follows Cephus’s acquittal on sexual assault charges. Those allegations are what led to his expulsion in the first place.
Cephus and his attorneys sent a petition for readmission last Tuesday.
After everything that has happened over the course of more than a year, one might wonder why the football player wants to return to Madison. Part of the answer may lie in the family he’s found.
"He is my blood brother,” Badger inside linebacker and former teammate Chris Orr said. "These are people you live with for years. We know each other inside and out. We truly are a family."
"I am not angry at all,” Cephus said. "I have, the whole time I've had the support of my brothers and everybody who knew me."
Cephus and his former teammates are asking UW-Madison to hurry up and make a decision.
'We expect a prompt correction of the wrong that has been committed against this young man,” Cephus’s attorney Stephen Meyer said. “How much more damage has to be done to him? Come on."
“Do the right thing. Give Cephus back his good name.” - Quintez Cephus’s attorney.— Madalyn O'Neill (@news3madalyn) August 12, 2019
“Justice delayed is justice denied.” pic.twitter.com/SSFiSzmaFc
Seven players wrote to the chancellor asking for Cephus's readmission, saying by clearing his name she would "alleviate a racial tension felt by students."
Meyer echoed that, asking UW to recognize the stereotype “that black men are sexually aggressive”—one he said permeated the criminal case.
“We’re just asking the university to recognize that,” he said. “Don’t reinforce it.”
In a statement, UW-Madison said it was not provided all the relevant court records with Cephus's petition
"We are working to gather this information currently and will complete our review of the petition as quickly as possible once we have it,” the statement said.
"We sent them over 250 pages of exhibits, documents and pictures,” said Kathy Stilling, an attorney for Cephus.
Cephus's attorneys worry that process will take months -- longer than they’d like to wait.
"We'd love to have him back,” Orr said. “We'd welcome him with open arms. It'd be like a relative coming back."
The UW statement said when it comes to reviewing petitions like this, it’s important to remember its code of student conduct is separate from criminal law, “and that students may be held responsible for violations of the code regardless of whether those violations are also criminal. State and federal law require us to apply the code of conduct impartially and consistently regardless of the identities of the individuals involved.”
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