MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- Former Badger football player Quintez Cephus will be rejoining the team for the 2019-2020 season, the UW athletic department confirmed Monday.
Cephus, who was tried and found not guilty of sexual assault, was reinstated as a student at the university on Monday as well.
A statement from Wisconsin Athletics regarding Quintez Cephus: pic.twitter.com/tNOTTHe7WZ— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) August 19, 2019
Cephus told reporters today that "I had no reason to run from Wisconsin. I'm just here to continue my education, and play football."
When asked what his message to sexual assault victims is, Cephus' attorney said:
"I'm not sure that it's fair to ask Quintez that. He just went through a year in which we was falsely accused of sexual assault. Quintez feels strongly about victims - real victims of sexual assault, but I just don't think that's an appropriate question for him."
The university released a statement:
"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 UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca 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."
"To those in our community who have experienced sexual assault, I sincerely hope that there is nothing in this case that will deter you from coming forward for support," she added. "Our university continues to be prepared to listen and respond."
"Our focus is on the victims who could be hurt or triggered by this decision," Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center, Erin Thornley-Parisi said.
Thornley-Parisi said she understands why the Chancellor reinstated Cephus, but says she stands with all victims and the Rape Crisis Center is there for support.
Thornley-Parisi wants to remind all students they have an office separate from the University on campus.
Cephus filed a petition for readmission the week of August 5, just days after a jury found him not guilty of sexually assaulting two students.
University officials stated it had a responsibility to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in a prompt and thorough manner, as directed by state and federal laws. The university also applied its code of conduct impartially and consistently regardless of the identities of the individuals involved.
On Aug. 7, Coach Paul Chryst and the Badgers said they would welcome him back with open arms.
"If it's best for Q and it truly is for him then I know his teammates and I know how we feel, we would welcome him back,” says Chryst on Aug. 7. “We talked to the guys and it’s not about us, it's what's best for him and if that is, then we absolutely would.”