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Youngstown State Player Convicted Of Rape Plays Against Blue Devils

by Dillon Meehan

In March 2013, Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond of Steubenville, Ohio, were found guilty of raping a 16-year old girl in April, 2012. The case received an extremely heightened amount of media attention, due to Mays and Richmond being on the Steubenville High School football team.

Richmond served only 10 months of his year-long sentence from Juvenile Court.  And after being released in 2014, he would return to play his senior year of football.

After graduating high school, Richmond attended small colleges in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia before transferring to Youngstown State, joining the team as walk-on in January.

Three years later, Richmond, 21, played his first game for Youngstown State in a 59-9 win over Central Connecticut State University. Entering the game in the third quarter, with the Penguins up 52-6, he played the remainder of the game. Richmond finished with two tackles, one of which resulted in a two yard loss.

Last week, Richmond sued Youngstown State after the school decided that he will forfeit a year of NCAA eligibility and stay one the practice squad. In an emailed statement to the entire school, Youngstown State said Richmond won’t play, but would “benefit from group participation, the lessons of hard work and discipline, as well as the camaraderie and guidance of the staff and teammates.”

However, in Richmond’s suit, he claims that the school took “biased, improper and damaging action” by refusing to let him play. And that barring him from playing after an online petition started circulating across campus, the school was” infected by an anti-male bias that has swept across America’s universities and colleges.”

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Benita Pearson, issued a temporary restraining order while declining the university’s request to keep Richmond from playing. It’s a similar decision to the one made in Texas to allow Ezekiel Elliott to play despite being suspended by the NFL. Pearson scheduled a hearing for Sept. 28 to decided wether or not to make her decision permanent, and allow Richmond to play the entire season or be forced to stay on the practice squad.

After starting the season with one of the toughest schedules in the country, Central Connecticut is now 0-3 on the season after losing away against #5 Youngstown State on Saturday. It is the first time since the 2013-14 season that the Blue Devils are 0-3.

The Blue Devils struggled offensively once again generating only 264 yards of total offense, with junior quarterback Jacob Dolegala completed 13-28 passes, for 98 yards. Nash finished with 62 yards on 10 carries.

The opposite can be said for Youngstown State, who finished with 630 yard of total offense, with 496 yards on the ground. Five different Youngstown State players rushed for 65 yards or more, compared to just one player for the Blue Devils.

Youngstown State jumped out to a 31-0 halftime lead, extending it to 38-0 scoring on their first possession of the second half. The Blue Devils scored their first touchdown with 7:25 left in the third, when senior running back Cameron Nash ran it in from 5 yards out. Junior kicker Frankie Palmer’s extra point attempt was blocked, keeping the score at 38-6.

Youngstown State would respond with another 21 unanswered points, to make 59-6. Palmer hit a 37-yard field goal towards the end of the fourth quarter to make it 59-9.

The Blue Devils started the season away,in a 50-7 loss against Syracuse, an FBS team. Last week, it was #22 Fordham, where the Blue Devils had a 17-0 lead three minutes into the game, but ultimately lost 38-31. In their first three games this season, the Blue Devils have been outscored 147-47 by their opponents.

Saturday’s loss was CCSU’s fifth in a row, and they have now dropped 10 out of their 11 games, dating all the way back to last season.