Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus announced Saturday that he will take an indefinite leave of absence from the team in order to focus his attention on fighting undisclosed criminal charges.
The junior tweeted a statement in which he claimed he had been “wrongly accused of unlawful conduct,” though he did not say what specific charges he was facing. Cephus said the specific incident occurred in April of this year, that he has been under investigation for more than three months and the allegations were associated with what he claimed to be a “consensual relationship.”
Not disclosing the specific crime is an unusual move for Cephus, who seems to be trying to get out in front of what could a very public saga, something the Big Ten has seen quite a bit this offseason. The “consensual relationship” language of his statement at least seems to narrows down the possible charges, but there is likely still an enormous amount of unknowns here.
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst only offered a quick comment on Cephus while meeting with reporters later on Saturday, saying he met with the player and had advance knowledge that a statement would be released.
Coach Chryst addresses the media following Saturday’s practice at Camp Randall pic.twitter.com/sYtfwyJ4oY
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) August 19, 2018
Cephus missed Wisconsin’s final five games of last season after undergoing surgery on his right leg, ending a breakout year with 501 yards and six touchdowns. He was expected to occupy the top spot in a talented receiving corps for the highly ranked Badgers, but it looks it will be Danny Davis, A.J. Taylor and Kendrick Pryor will be competing for targets for now.
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