Wisconsin WR Cephus takes leave from team, expects charges

Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus says he is taking a leave of absence from the team because he believes prosecutors intend to file criminal charges against him for an incident in April involving what he calls a “consensual relationship.”

In a tweet late Saturday, Cephus didn’t specify what he is accused of but denied any wrongdoing and said he has been wrongfully accused.

“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. … I look forward to resuming both my academic and athletic careers in the near future,” the junior wrote.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne did not immediately reply to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment Monday. Badgers coach Paul Chryst said he met with Cephus on Saturday but declined to comment further on his legal situation.

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval issued a statement Saturday confirming the department has investigated Cephus but provided no details of the allegations.

“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 chief said.

Wisconsin, expected to be one of the top teams in the country this season, opens its season Aug. 21 at home against Western Kentucky.

Cephus, who is from Macon, Georgia, is healthy again after breaking his right leg last November. He still finished first on the team with six touchdown catches and second among its receivers with 30 receptions in nine games before he was injured. He played in 23 games the past two seasons, including 13 starts. He has 34 receptions for 595 yards in all.

The Badgers are loaded at receiver heading into the season. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook still has proven targets in sophomores Denny Davis and Kendric Pryor and junior A.J. Taylor.