A Youngstown State University student has started a petition to remove Ma'lik Richmond from the football team, stemming from his conviction in the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio.
Richmond and former Steubenville High School teammate Trent Mays were found delinquent in juvenile court of rape in March 2013, charged with sexually assaulting a West Virginia high school student who had passed out after a night of drinking.
Mays, who was also convicted of using his phone to take a naked picture of the underage girl, was sentenced to at least two years and was released in January 2015.
The Change.org petition, started by Katelyn Davis on Saturday morning, had garnered close to 6,000 signatures as of Sunday night and will be delivered to Youngstown State University president Jim Tressel and football coach Bo Pelini.
"I'm not saying that Richmond should be expelled. He does deserve a second chance at his education," Davis told WKYC. "I do hope that he is successful in life, but he should not be representing YSU as a football player."
Pelini told WFMJ in Youngstown earlier in the week that Richmond, who enrolled as a student in August 2016 and walked on to the team in January, is practicing for the upcoming season.
"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 the station.
Richmond is expected to play for the Penguins this fall but not start, according to WFMJ. The YSU athletics page lists his position as defensive tackle.