Wisconsin WR Quintez Cephus leaves team, awaits 'unspecified charges'

Quintez Cephus made 30 catches last season, including six for touchdowns.Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

Cephus says he is 'wrongfully accused' in 'consensual relationship'

Wisconsin starting wide receiver Quintez Cephus is leaving the team while he deals with a personal matter.

Cephus learned that the Dane County District Attorney's Office is planning to make "unspecified charges" against him in Madison, Wis., stemming from an incident in April. He says he is innocent and wants to put his energy into clearing his name.

"I have been wrongfully accused of unlawful conduct, and I am innocent of any allegations associated with this consensual relationship," Cephus said on Twitter.

Cephus practiced with the Badgers on Friday before announcing his decision via social media a day later. The team was informed at a meeting Saturday.

Cephus has discussed the situation with Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst and reportedly has provided information to the athletic department staff during the three-month police investigation.

Last season, Cephus ranked second on the team in receiving yards with 501 in nine games. His playing time was limited by a knee injury, but he was expected to be the Badgers' top wideout this year.

Wisconsin's student-athlete policy stipulates that sexual assault charges would result in immediate suspension while an inquiry is made. He would still be allowed to retain his athletic scholarship and participate in team activities.

Any disciplinary action by the university would be handed by athletic director Barry Alvarez and others.

"My football family has been supportive to me and I have too much respect for Coach Chryst, his staff and my teammates to become a distraction in what I know will be an outstanding year for the Badgers," Cephus said in his Twitter statement. "I realize that 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. ... I will not be defined by these allegations or this episode."

The junior has 34 career receptions for 595 yards and six touchdowns in 23 games, including 13 starts. Last season, he finished with 30 catches, six touchdowns and a 16.7 yards per reception average.

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