Youngstown State University football player Ma’lik Richmond was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in 2012, a conviction which has gone on to cost him a year’s worth of collegiate eligibility.
Richmond was sentenced to a year in a juvenile detention center and eventually walked on at Youngstown after graduating high school.
A student attending YSU started a petition to boot Richmond from the team, and it went on to receive over 6,000 signatures. The result of the petition was somewhat successful.
As a compromise, head coach Bo Pelini decided that Richmond will lose a year of eligibility and will only be allowed to participate in practices this season, reports the New York Post.
It has not been clarified what will happen to Richmond beyond the 2017 season. Youngstown State issued a statement about Pelini’s decision, which read, “He will be given the opportunity to benefit from group participation, the lessons of hard work and discipline, as well as the camaraderie and guidance of the staff and teammates.”
The school apparently believes being a part of the football program will be a healing process for Richmond and will assist with his rehabilitation. In some way, they are making it seem as though what he did wasn’t that bad and that football can heal you no matter the crime. This narrative needs to end now.