Ma'lik Richmond should not be allowed to play football at Youngstown State, says a petition started by a YSU student over the weekend.
Richmond was one of the high school students convicted in the 2012 rape of a teenage girl in case that rocked Steubenville, Ohio, and the nation. He was 16 years old at the time of the crime and was convicted in juvenile court — along with football teammate Trent Mays — for the rape of a minor. Richmond was sentenced to a minimum of one of year in a juvenile facility, while Mays received two years because — in addition to sexually assaulting the girl — he was charged with distributing pornographic photos of her.
Richmond, who was released in January 2014 (Mays in January 2015), returned to Steubenville before graduating and attending California University of Pennsylvania and Potomac State College of West Virginia. He transferred to Youngstown State to play football last year. After sitting out the 2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules, the redshirt sophomore defensive tackle is eligible to play in 2017. But a petition to Penguins' head coach Bo Pelini is trying to prevent him from doing that.
The Change.org petition is titled "Remove Steubenville Rapist, Ma'lik Richmond, from YSU's Football Team"
"Does he deserve a second chance?" it reads. "Yes, he does, and he is receiving that second chance by furthering his education on YSU's campus. Does he deserve the privilege of playing on a football team and representing a university? Absolutely not. Education is a right, whereas playing on a sports team is not."
As of Monday morning, it had 6,277 supporters, just 1,233 shy of their 7,500 goal.