A situation that didn’t sit well with a sizable portion of college football fans will likely continue in that same general direction after this latest development.
It was confirmed Monday that the lawyers for Ma’lik Richmond and Youngstown State have filed motions to dismiss a lawsuit filed on the former’s behalf. As part of the settlement, Richmond will be allowed to continue playing football for the Penguins.
The case was dismissed with prejudice, the Youngstown Vindicator reported, meaning Richmond will not be permitted to bring the same complaint before any court moving forward.
Also as part of the settlement, “Richmond agreed to undergo additional training with respect to issues involving Title IX,” a statement from the university read, in part.
“This has been a complex situation and will continue to be of interest to our campus community,” the statement continued. “As we move forward, we are prepared to continue to engage the campus in a review of our policies at it relates to these types of situations, including policies on student participation in athletics and other high-profile university activities. While the settlement agreement may cause concern for some, we believe it is in the best overall interest of the university, students and the community.”
Word surfaced in early August of this year that an online petition was seeking the removal of Richmond from the Youngstown State football roster. In 2013, Richmond was one of two football players from Steubenville High School in Ohio to be convicted of raping a 16-year-old high school girl, and served nearly a year for his crime.
Giving the firestorm of criticism that erupted after it was learned he was on the Penguins’ roster, the university very shortly thereafter announced that Richmond would not be permitted to play in games for the team in 2017 even as he would be permitted to continue practicing with the team. Richmond subsequently quit the team after the university’s decision.
In mid-September, Richmond sued Youngstown State in federal court in an attempt to get himself immediately reinstated to the football team. That same day, U.S. District Court Judge Benita Y. Pearson granted Richmond a temporary restraining order that forbids YSU from preventing Richmond from participating in football games until a Sept. 28 hearing; an appeal by the university was denied.
Richmond claimed in the lawsuit that he had the support of YSU head coach Bo Pelini and the university’s president, former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel. In the suit that triggered the temporary order, the plaintiffs argued that Richmond did not violate the student code of ethics as had been contended; has been denied the right to due process in violation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution; and that the university violated Title IX laws by discriminating against Richmond on the basis of his sex.
Shortly after that order was upheld, the walk-on defensive end was inserted in the third quarter of YSU’s win over Central Connecticut State Sept. 16 and played the remainder of the contest, finishing with a pair of tackles.
“What is most important is that Ma’lik moves on,” one of Richmond’s attorneys, Susan Stone, said after the settlement. “This was never a case about money. This is a case about Ma’lik being given all the opportunities afforded a student of good standing.”