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Ma'lik Richmond dressed for football team against Central Connecticut State

Ma'lik Richmond dressed for football team against Central Connecticut State

Word surfaced in early August of this year that an online petition was seeking the removal of Richmond from the Youngstown State football roster. The university was prepared to let him play football until a female student there filed a petition to get Richmond kicked off the team, and Youngstown changed its mind.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office had submitted a scathing reply to the lawsuit on behalf of the university, arguing why Richmond's petition for relief shouldn't be granted.

Richmond served 10 months in juvenile detention after his conviction. On Thursday night a judge ruled that she would temporarily allow Richmond to play football for at least the next 14 days, and scheduled a hearing September 28 on whether to make the decision permanent.

Stone argues that by not allowing Richmond to play on the team, he was being sanctioned by the university although he had done nothing illegal or actionable during his time as a student. The case brought global attention and led to allegations of a cover-up to protect the school's storied football team.

YSU argued that Coach Bo Pelini can be trumped under OH law by the president of the university, but Richmond's lawyer said Richmond was punished without a hearing - going against the school's student handbook.

After his release, Richmond attended colleges in West Virginia and Pennsylvania before transferring to Youngstown State in the fall of 2016 as a sophomore.

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"The rest of the world had written Plaintiff off as an unrepentant rapist, but YSU encouraged him and integrated him as 'part of the student community, '" the reply said. Richmond made the team as walk-on defensive end in January.

FILE - In this March 17, 2013, file photo, Ma'Lik Richmond walks toward the victim and her family to apologize after he and co-defendant Trent Mays were found delinquent on rape and other charges during their trial in juvenile court in Steubenville, Ohio.

Pelini called Greg Agresta, one of Richmond's guardians, according to the lawsuit, and said there was pressure being exerted on the university's Board of Trustees. Pelini has previously said he made a decision to welcome Richmond to the program following his own investigation, and Richmond claims Pelini informed him he would play this season after the spring.

The appeals court, however, said Youngstown State failed to show that a temporary order allowing Richmond back on the team "has serious or irreparable consequences".

"It's a little bit of beating a dead horse in a way", Steubenville resident Guy Forcone told WFMJ.

"He did everything he was supposed to do", local resident Jabo Callas told the station. He's a good kid.