The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced earlier today that they have decided to reinstate former Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Quintez Cephus “effective immediately.” The Black Leadership Council, a large group consisting of some of Madison’s most prominent African-American leaders, have released a letter to Chancellor Rebecca Blank obtained by Madison365 expressing their gratitude for the decision.
“We are cognizant of how difficult this decision must have been given the competing perspectives on what constitutes fairness and justice in this case. Our advocacy on behalf of Mr. Cephus was based on the compelling evidence concerning his innocence and the lasting ramifications this expulsion would have on his life and future career possibilities,” the letter states.
“We feel strongly about the issue of sexual violence and assault. The Black Leadership Council is comprised of women as well men married to women and members whose parents, relatives, and loved ones are women,” the statement continues. “We would not want any of them—male or female—to be subject to sexual violence or assault. Also, we recognize that campuses across the nation are grappling with up to 25 percent of their female students suffering from sexual assault and receiving less than satisfactory remedies. Nothing for which we advocated ignores this horrible scourge in our society. Our proclamation was a support of the innocence of Mr. Cephus and assuring the university was standing with the truth in this instance.
“In 1915 the University of Wisconsin-Madison installed a plaque on Bascom Hall that reflects the values on which it stands. That plaque reads: ‘Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere we believe the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.’ Although that statement relates directly to academic inquiry (from the 1894 Ely trial committee final report), we believe it reflects a statement by which the University of Wisconsin-Madison should conduct all of its business.
“As a group the Black Leadership Council is comprised of community and civically engaged citizens with deep investment and engagement in Madison and Dane County. Our strongest desire is for the University of Wisconsin-Madison to thrive and be an asset to the ENTIRE community. We want to do whatever we can to help it live out ‘The Wisconsin Idea.’ We have been and will continue to be among the University’s best supporters and advocates in the Black community.
“Again we thank you for the care with which you have handled this issue and we look forward to a successful outcome for all parties involved.”
The letter is signed by:
Rev. Dr. Marcus Allen, Pastor, Mt. Zion Baptist Church; Ruben Anthony, PhD CEO and President Urban League of Greater Madison;Kaleem Caire, CEO, One City Early Learning Center; Carola Gaines, Madison Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc; Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, Pastor, Fountain of Life Covenant Church and President, Nehemiah Corporation and Justified Anger Coalition; Greg Jones, President, NAACP Dane County; Richard L. Jones, Esq, Gamma Gamma Gamma Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc; Gloria Ladson-Billings, Kappa Psi Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc; and Theresa S. Sanders, Kappa Psi Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.