College coach explains why he recruited Steubenville rapist
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Four years after being convicted of rape, Ma’lik Richmond apparently didn’t feel he belonged on a football field.
Bo Pelini’s most noteworthy move following his 2014 Nebraska ouster may be seeking out Richmond, one of the two assailants in the high-profile Steubenville High School rape case, to play on his team, bringing the sex offender out of the relative anonymity of the classroom and into the college football world.
Youngstown State, an Ohio university of a little more than 10,000 undergrads, the former Ohio , will field a team with a walking-on Richmond this season after Pelini discovered he had this talent, who played wide receiver and linebacker in high school, on his campus.
Richmond served nearly 10 months of a year-long sentence in juvenile detention after being convicted of raping a minor. The crime gained a national spotlight and put Steubenville on the map as an Everytown example of football entitlement and sexual abuse, where only an abundance of evidence culled from social media and text messages, where the assailants and bystanders shared what actually happened, brought the crime to light.
Richmond, who was 16 at the time of the Aug. 11, 2012, incident, was one of two players convicted in 2013, and he was released in January 2014. He finished his high school career at Steubenville, then, according to the Vindicator, bounced between colleges, where he didn’t seek out the football team and the football team didn’t seek him out — until arriving at Youngstown State, which made the Football Championship Subdivison championship last season and is seeing success under Pelini and university president Jim Tressel, the former Ohio State coach who resigned in 2011 amid an improper-benefits scandal. Pelini learned Richmond was right under his nose.
“I thought it was smart that he was willing to put football aside,” Pelini said. “He knows he has to earn this and he didn’t come here to play.”
Pelini said he took the time to vet Richmond and came to believe he deserves another chance.
“Every case is different. You have to listen to their story to see if they are genuine,” Pelini said. “Gosh, when I was at Nebraska, I got rid of a lot of kids. Some of them weren’t even given a second chance.”
“I believe in him, but I told him, ‘I’ll hold your feet to the fire,’” Pelini said before fall practice began Thursday. “He has to do it better and cleaner than the next guy.
“… 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.”
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August 08, 2017
Sources:` New York Post
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