YOUNGSTOWN - There's a heated debate going on at Youngstown State University over the status of football player Ma'lik Richmond.
He's one of two former Stubenville High School football stars who served time for a 2012 rape.
We spoke to many students here on campus and it's a mixed feeling after learning Richmond will remain on the football team.
Some came out in favor of Richmond. While others say he should get an education, but not play football for the school.
Richmond and former Steubenville High School teammate Trent Mays were found guilty of rape in March 2013, for sexually assaulting a West Virginia high school student who had passed out after a night of drinking.
Richmond returned to school and the Steubenville football team, after serving one year in a juvenile detention center. He later enrolled into YSU as a student and joined the football team in January of 2017.
Two petitions have now surfaced, one in favor of him playing and the other saying he can get an education but not be allowed to play on the football team.
YSU head football coach Bo Pelini tells WKYC Channel 3 that Richards has earned a second chance. "Some people earn a second chance, some people don't. And he has," Pelini says. "He's done the right things and he's been a great kid for us."
As of Monday night, the number of votes in the petition against Richmond playing is way in the lead with over 7,000 votes but clearly students are weighing in on both sides.
Both petitions are expected to be taken to Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel sometime soon.
As for Richmond, he's is expected to play for the Penguins this fall but not start.
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