The Youngstown State Penguins are in the press before the season has even started. The reason? A player on their team named Ma’lik Richmond was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl when he was in high school, and a petition on Change.org seeks to have him removed.
Richmond committed the crime in 2012, and was released from juvenile detention within a year of conviction. The incident generated national headlines. He returned to Steubenville high school and it’s football team upon his release.
He enrolled at Youngstown State in 2016, and joined the football program shortly thereafter.
The petition, started by Katelyn Davis, says that his opportunity to be on the university campus and receive his education is his second chance, not playing football. She calls for university president Jim Tressel, and coach Bo Pelini to remove him from the roster immediately.
They seek 7,500 votes, and are at 6,825 at the time of this post.
But coach Pelini feels that Richmond has earned a chance to be on the team. Speaking with WFMJ, the coach said that Richmond was allowed to join the team under “certain stipulations,” which he apparently met. He says that he has lived up to those stipulations, and continues to do so, though he would not comment on what those stipulations were specifically.