YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University head football Coach Bo Pelini said player Ma’lik Richmond earned his way onto the team, despite protests from some people in the community.
Pelini said he doesn’t defend Richmond’s actions, but he sees that he is remorseful of his actions.
“Here is a young man sitting in front of me that, I think, four or five years prior and along the way had served his sentence, done his time and was looking to move on with his life,” he said.
Richmond was found guilty as a juvenile of a sexual assault while he was playing football at Steubenville High School — a case that garnered national attention.
After protests from some students and community members, the university told Richmond he couldn’t play this year. Richmond then filed a lawsuit against the university, which was dismissed Monday after the two parties came to an agreement.
As part of the settlement, Richmond will remain on the active roster and be eligible to play football.
In a statement released Monday, YSU said it believed the decision was “in the best overall interest of the university, students and the community.” The university noted that it would review such cases in the future.
Watch the above video to see Pelini’s full statement on Richmond’s lawsuit, saying he’s “glad it’s behind us.”