YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - After days of controversy surrounding a walk-on football player for the Youngstown State University Penguins, the University is reaching out.

Posting to their official Facebook page, the University announced that Ma'lik Richmond, the player convicted of the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old-girl in Steubenville, will not be permitted to play in games for the 2017 football season.

However, the statement says that Ma'lik will continue to be a part of the football program as a practice player, forfeiting a year of eligibility.

Richmond enrolled at YSU as a student in 2016 and joined the football team in January of 2017.

Late last week a petition was started by a YSU student who wanted Richmond removed from the team.

YSU's statement can be read here:

Youngstown State University

Petitions have been circulating the internet for several days, both supporting Richmond, and opposing his eligibility to play.