Richmond is Worthy of a Second Chance

Lots of so called controversy going on at Youngstown State University with the football program these days.  I say so called because in reality, there is no controversy.

For those who haven't heard the story, YSU 's 2017 football roster includes DT Ma'lik Richmond from Steubenville.  Five years ago, Richmond (who was sixteen at the time) was one of two people convicted of sexual assault of a sixteen year old girl.  Richmond went on trial as a juvenile and was sentenced to a year in a  juvenile detention center.  He was released in January 2014 and went back to Steubenville HS, where he played football his senior year and graduated in 2015.  He spent the 2015-2016 college year going to Potomac State College of West Virginia University and California University of Pennsylvania.  Richmond transferred to YSU in August of 2016 and spent the entire 2016-2017 school year going to school.

Let me explain why this young man has earned a second chance.  He apologized for his actions when he was convicted and served his time without incident at the juvenile detention center.  He went back to Steubenville, and while I don't agree that he should've been allowed to play football his senior year, his senior year had no incidents or run ins with the law.  He went to two different colleges in the 2015-2016 academic year and did not run afoul with the law.  He transferred to YSU and spent the 2016-2017 academic year on campus with no incidents of any kind.  The fact is Richmond has done NOTHING wrong in terms of violating his parole or breaking the law since August 11, 2012.  He has earned the right to deserve a second chance.  One other thing, Richmond isn't currently on scholarship.  He walked on, thanks in large part to Coach Pelini asking him to try out for the team, but not before doing a thorough background check of Richmond.

For those who don't agree with me, ask yourself this question.  Do you honestly think this young man would've done this horrific crime if alcohol wasn't involved?  I can guarantee you the answer is a resounding no.  

The truth of the matter is the adults that provided the alcohol to all of these kids at this party should've gone to prison.  Every one of those kids were drunk.  Sadly, the young woman who was violated was so drunk she couldn't stand up.  Now, this doesn't completely excuse the horrific crime that was committed, but the reality is without alcohol this crime would've never been committed. 

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