The Youngstown State University football player who was benched after controversy surrounding a prior rape conviction, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the school.

Ma'lik Richmond wants Youngstown State to put him back on the Penguins' roster.

He was benched after YSU students petitioned to have him removed from the team. Richmond's complaint was filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Youngstown.

According to NBC-affiliate WFMJ , the suit alleges that YSU singled Richmond out, violating a contract and promises the university made.

Richmond served a year in a juvenile detention facility after he and another Steubenville High School football player were convicted in the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old-girl during a party. Although Richmond enrolled at YSU as a student in 2016 and joined the football team in January of 2017, the controversy didn't arise until media reports made that information public in August.

Richmond is asking for a jury to hear his case.

In the meantime, a hearing is set for Thursday afternoon for both sides to argue Richmond's request for a temporary restraining order preventing YSU keeping him off the active roster, or keeping him from playing in games for reasons other than legitimate coaching decisions.