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Wisconsin reinstates Cephus, effective immediately

Cephus' former teammates say they'd welcome him back to the Badgers with open arms.

MADISON, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-Madison has decided to readmit Quintez Cephus.

The former Badgers football player was expelled and suspended from the team after he was accused of sexual assault in April 2018.

On Aug. 2, Cephus was acquitted of two counts of sexual assault.

Days later, Cephus' lawyers asked the university to readmit Cephus, requesting a decision by Aug. 8.

When a decision wasn't made by Aug. 12, Cephus' attorney, Steve Meyer, said, "The university is sending a clear message that they do not want him to be a student at the university this semester."

The university assured a decision had not yet been made because officials didn't have all relevant court records.

In a statement released Monday morning, UW officials said they made the decision based on information obtained following the criminal proceeding that "was not provided to the university during the student conduct process."

According to the statement, Chancellor Rebecca Blank reviewed the petition for readmission as quickly as possible.

"As a result of this review, sanctions for Quintez Cephus have been reduced and his expulsion lifted. There were findings of responsibility of the student non-academic misconduct code that were upheld," the university said in a statement.

A UW spokesperson tells Fox 47 Cephus was found responsible for a lesser charge for violating the student code of conduct, but that violation will not prevent him from playing football.

Cephus has been reinstated effective immediately.

"All three of the primary participants in this case are our students, and I know the past year has been painful for everyone involved," said Blank. "My decision is based on the availability of substantial new information that wasn't made available to us during the earlier process. I recognize that some will disagree with this decision."

Blank said she hopes nothing in this case will deter sexual assault victims from coming forward.

In a statement to Fox Now, Meyer thanked UW and Blank for "doing the right thing by giving Quintez Cephus his life back in time to pursue his academic and athletic dreams."

Meyer said it's been a year since Quintez had to tell his teammate he was leaving the team.

"We argued vociferously for that entire year that he was being punished for a crime he did not commit, so we're grateful that UW leaders looked at all the facts, respected the decision of a court of law, and re-admitted him to UW-Madison," said Meyer.

It's unclear if this decision means Cephus can rejoin the football team immediately.

Following his petition for readmission, head coach Paul Chryst said he would welcome Cephus back to the team.

"However that plays out, if it's best for Q then we couldn't be more excited for him that way," said Chryst.

"I'd love for Q to come back," said running back Jonathan Taylor. "That's our brother, and we would love to have him back on the field flying around with us again."

Following Monday morning's decision, a Badgers football media availability that was scheduled for Monday morning was postponed.

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