Youngstown State football coach Bo Pelini has spent the last week explaining his decision to allow Ma’Lik Richmond—a former high school football player found guilty of rape in juvenile court in the Steubenville, Ohio, case—to walk on to the team this winter.
“I gave him some stipulations and some things he had to be able to do and if he lived up to them he’d be able to come out and see if he could be a member of our football team. He did those things and continues to do those things right now and he’s done a nice job for us,” Pelini told WFMJ. He did not elaborate on what those stipulations were.
In March 2013, when he was 16, Richmond was one of two football players found guilty of rape in juvenile court after a judge found the teens penetrated a girl with their fingers while she was too drunk to consent. The girl did not recall what happened, but text messages and photos from among the school’s teenagers became much of the evidence.
Richmond served just less than 10 months of a year-long sentence in juvenile detention. After being released in January 2014, he returned to play his senior season at Steubenville High and then spent time as a student at both Potomac State College of West Virginia University and California University of Pennsylvania, according to the Youngstown Vindicator. (It does not appear that he played football at either college; the first university he attended, Potomac State, does not even have a team.) Richmond enrolled at Youngstown State last August and earned a spot on the football team as a walk-on this January.
Students have created a petition to remove Ma’Lik Richmond from the football team. Sign It HERE
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