Friday, the University of Wisconsin Athletic Board approved changes to their Student-Athlete Discipline Policy.
The changes came in the wake of controversy over football player Quintez Cephus’ suspension, ejection from the university and eventual reinstatement after two women brought charges of felony sexual assault against him.
The policy change mandates automatic suspension of any student athlete who is arrested or charged with a specified crime believed to be imminent. This expands the number of potential situations under which the punishment might be applied — a charge of sexual assault, like Cephus faced, would fall under automatic suspension.
Other charges resulting in automatic suspension under the policy include assault, endangerment, threatening others, drug possession or delivery, felony theft or property damage, and stalking.
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According to reporting from the Wisconsin State Journal, several members of the athletic board raised questions about the policy’s ambiguity — “imminent” suspension doesn’t outline a specific time frame.
Under the policy, suspension means an athlete cannot participate in practice or games, but they still receive financial aid, they can still use training facilities and academic support services, and their name will still appear on the squad list.
If there’s any confusion on whether or not the policy applies, the athletic director, after discussing the situation with the chair of the athletic board, decides, according to the policy.