Despite increased awareness, college campuses nationwide are plagued with incidents of sexual assaults. Both college students and student-athletes alike are impacted. The University of Wisconsin is no exception, and neither is their athletes.
Soon after the athletes returned to school, wide receiver Quintez Cephus was charged with the third-degree sexual assault against two women and second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated woman. His roommate and fellow wide receiver Danny Davis allegedly took photos of the women during the assault.
Soon after these incidents became public, Coach Paul Chryst subsequently suspended Cephus from the team and suspended Davis from the first two games, however, Davis will still be permitted to attend practices pending further information being released.
While speaking with Bucky’s 5th Quarter about Davis’ suspension, Chryst addressed why he felt Davis’ punishment was adequate.
“I think there’s certainly a standard of conduct that we want to shoot for and want to hold that at a high level,” Chryst said, “Anything that doesn’t, it’s appropriate.”
This raises the question, if Chryst said himself that he has such high standards for this program then why isn’t Davis receiving as harsh a punishment as Cephus? Both players appear to have violated UW policy, so both players should receive an equal punishment, despite their commitment and record with the team.
Chryst’s decision to only suspend Davis for the first two games may be perceived as him focusing on the team’s record and need for two top receivers rather than on the heinous incident.
Though Davis has not yet been charged with his alleged involvement, legal action could still come later. In a criminal complaint, Davis is said to have both laughed at and took pictures of the assault with Cephus. But Cephus said only one photo was taken that night and it was “quickly deleted.”
Athletes should be no exception to the consequences following a sexual assault crime in any case. If the allegations against Davis hold true, Chryst’s actions show that despite taking nonconsensual nude photos of women, they can still have a place in the UW football program.
Sexual assault issues anywhere on campus are intolerable by university policy and will result in a criminal record with UWPD.
Hopefully, if more information is released from this case, the university, along with the athletics program, will take necessary action for these students and either clear their names or further punish them.
If students are seeking help for themselves or a friend following a sexual assault, they can contact University Health Services for (608) 265-5600 for more resources.