A lawyer for former Wisconsin receiver Quintez Cephus said he thinks the UW is preventing his client from returning to school. "The university is sending a clear message that they do not want him to be a student at the university this semester," attorney Steve Meyer said Monday.
Cephus and his attorneys filed a petition for readmission to the university last week following his acquittal on sexual assault charges. Cephus was suspended by the football team and expelled by the school last August following the allegations.
The University released a statement in response to Meyer's comments:
"The information provided today by attorney Stephen Meyer is false.
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. We are working to gather this information currently and will complete our review of the petition as quickly as possible once we have it. No decision on this matter has been made at this time.
Generally speaking, it’s important to note that the University of Wisconsin System’s 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."
Last week, Wisconsin head football coach Paul Chryst and several players said the team would definitely welcome Cephus back if he chose to return to the team.
Cephus' lawyers held a news conference Monday afternoon. Cephus said he wasn't angry at the University despite what's happened over the past year.
"The whole time I've had the support of my brothers and everybody who knew me," Cephus said. "It was ups and downs, but my brothers supported me the whole time and I've learned a lot from it."
Linebacker Chris Orr was one of a handful of current players who stood behind Cephus in lobby of his attorneys' office. "It has nothing to do with him being a Wisconsin Badger again or him playing football again," Orr told reporters. "It's about who he is. We love him as a brother, truly. That carries off the field as well."
Running back Jonathan Taylor, quarterback Jack Coan, offensive lineman Tyler Biadasz, and linebacker Zack Baun were among the players who gathered in support of their former teammate.