The top returning wide receiver for the Wisconsin Badgers has announced he will be taking a leave of absence from the team after he learned he will be facing unspecified charges in connection to what he calls a “consensual relationship.”
Quintez Cephus, a junior at the University of Wisconsin, revealed he will be away from the team indefinitely in a statement posted to his Twitter account on Saturday. Cephus has not been charged yet and has not revealed any information about the accusations against him, which he says are false. He said he is being “wrongfully accused of unlawful conduct.” He added that he is “innocent of any allegations associated with this consensual relationship.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cephus Says in His Statement the Charges Are ‘Unwarranted’ & He Is Leaving the Team to Focus on Clearing His Name, but Added He Doesn’t Have the ‘Political Pull’ Others Have
Quintez Cephus posted few details about the accusations against him in his statement tweeted out Saturday night, August 18. On his Twitter account, Cephus posted a photo of a signed statement and did not comment beyond that.
He said the investigation stemmed from an incident that occurred in April 2018. He said he has been wrongfully accused and said the allegations stemmed from a consensual relationship. He did not provide any other information about the relationship or his accuser.
“Coincidentally as the football season approaches, the three plus month investigation is now leading to unwarranted charges. I am now forced to take a leave of absence from the team in order to focus all of my attention on clearing my name,” Cephus wrote. “My football family has been supportive to me and I have too much respect for Coach (Paul) Chryst, his staff and my teammates to become a distraction in what I know will be an outstanding year for the Badgers.”
Cephus added, “I realize I don’t have the relationships and political pull that others may have here at the University or with the Dane County District Attorney’s Office, but I am going to fight to clear my name of these allegations. As an Academic All Big 10 selection and an Honorable Mention All Big 10 receive, I look forward to resuming both my academic and athletic careers in the near future.”
He concluded the statement with, “I will not be defined by these allegations or this episode. I have great hope in my future and know that My Lord and Savior uses all situations for his god.”
2. Madison Police Say They Have Been Investigating a Case Involving Cephus & Are Awaiting a Decision From the Dane County District Attorney on Charges
Madison Police are investigating the case involving Quintez Cephus, but have not provided any additional details about the accusations, including what charges he could face or when the investigation began. Prosecutors have also not provided any information about the Cephus’ case. There are no charges listed against him in online records as of Sunday night, August 19. It is not clear when Cephus could be arrested.
In a statement to WKOW-TV, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said, “MPD has recently been made aware that there is an individual on the UW Football Team making various statements through social media platforms. The MPD has conducted an investigation relative to the information that this individual has been sharing.”
Koval added, “In so far as this is an open investigation awaiting further decisions from the District Attorney’s Office. MPD will not be commenting further out of respect for the rights of individuals who have not been charged and are entitled to full due process of the law.”
The Dane County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment from Heavy.
3. Cephus Is From Georgia & His Father Was Shot & Killed There Last Year
Quintez Cephus is originally from Macon, Georgia, according to the Badgers website. Cephus played high school football at Stratford Academy, a private school in Macon, and was a first-team All-State player during his senior season. He was ranked as a three-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 24/7 Sports coming out of high school.
In April 2017, Cephus’ father, Andre Taylor, was fatally shot in Georgia, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. He was arguing with a man outside of a convenience store in Macon when the man, identified as Calvin Stapleton, shot him as he walked away, the newspaper reports. He died at the scene and Stapleton was charged with murder. Stapleton was found guilty of murder on August 8, 2018, according to Macon.com. He was sentenced to life without parole.
“We were in a lot of bad situations. Everybody comes from different backgrounds, but my father was powerful. He taught me everything I know. My father taught me the way to live,” Cephus told the State Journal in August 2017. “He had to do what he had to. I think he let me experience all that so I can make the choices that I need to make, so I can be different, so I can be the change in my family. … Everything I saw when I was little, everything that was put in my face, I learned from it, good and bad. I wouldn’t be where I am and wouldn’t be as strong as I am today if it wasn’t for my circumstances.”
Cephus told the State Journal his father’s life and struggles and his death motivated him.
“I am going to do that,” Cephus told the State Journal. “I’m going to do that for my family, for my dad, for me.. … I stuck with it and was able to get an education that could get me to college. He always believed in me. I just had that drive, and I’ve just got to help my family get out of those circumstances so my brother or I don’t go down the same path as my dad. That’s all he wanted. He just didn’t want his kids to go down the same road as him.”
4. He Would be Suspended Immediately From Games & Practices by the University if He Is Charged With Sexual Assault or Another Violent Crime
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Quintez Cephus would be automatically suspended from games and practices if he is arrested on a sexual assault charge or charged with another violent crime, per a 2003 policy put in place by the University of Wisconsin.
The policy calls for a suspension if a student-athlete is charged with causing serious physical injury to another person, creating a serious danger to the personal safety of another person, making a credible threat of serious physical injury to another person, sexual assault, felony criminal damage to property, stalking or repeated violations of criminal law that raise the concerns addressed by the policy.
Cephus would be allowed to stay on the roster and financial aid would remain in place, along with academic support and access to weight training and sports medicine facilities. It is not clear if Cephus would return to take advantage of that if he is arrested.
The university and his head coach, Paul Chryst, did not go into further detail about the allegations against Cephus.
“Earlier today I met with Q and I know he was planning to release a statement,” Chryst told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Saturday. “I really don’t have anything more to add.”
5. Cephus Missed the Final 5 Games of the 2017 Season With a Leg Injury, but Was the Team’s Leading Receiver in Yards & Touchdowns
Quintez Cephus missed the final five games of the 2017 season with a leg injury, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. But he still finished in the team lead in receiving yards, with 501, and in touchdowns, with six. He was second on the team in catches, with 30. He made eight starts in 2017 and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten player, and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District, Academic All-Big Ten teams.
Cephus played in 14 games in 2016, his freshman season, starting five of those games. He had four catches for 94 yards and also ran the ball five times, gaining 41 yards.
He was expected to be one of the top receivers for the Badgers in 2016. Wisconsin opens its regular season on August 31 with a home game against Western Kentucky.
“I think you’ve just got to keep going,” head coach Paul Chryst told the Wisconsin State Journal. “Guys know, and they deal with a lot of things throughout the season. All of it’s an opportunity, and we’ve got to go forward.”
Source: Heavy Sports