Ma'lik Richmond filed a federal lawsuit against Youngstown State University on Wednesday after he was told he could not play for the football team.
According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), Richmond is seeking to be placed on the active roster in addition to attorney fees and damages.
The decision was made to keep Richmond off the active roster after a petition to prevent him from playing was circulated.
In 2013, Richmond was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. He served 10 months in juvenile detention.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office released a reply to Richmond's lawsuit in defense of Youngstown State:
The reply said "proving no deed goes unpunished," the school has been "hauled into court by a student that YSU has bent over backward to assist, support and provide a second chance when no one else would.
"The rest of the world had written Plaintiff off as an unrepentant rapist, but YSU encouraged him and integrated him as 'part of the student community.'"
Per WKBN, Youngstown State announced in August it would keep Richmond as part of the team and he would surrender a year of eligibility, but he could only take part in practices.
It noted 10,000 people signed the petition to keep Richmond off the team, and YSU released the following statement regarding its decision:
"Youngstown State University takes the matter of sexual assault very seriously and continues to educate everyone within the campus community about the impact and prevention of sexual assault.
"The University is fully aware of the gravity of the situation and of petitions that are circulating on social media in protest and support of one of our students, Ma'lik Richmond. We value the input of the entire YSU community and are committed to providing a safe learning environment and growth opportunities for all students, faculty and staff."
According to the Associated Press, Richmond was "despondent" over Youngstown State's decision and quit the team.
Prior making the Youngstown State roster as a walk-on, Richmond played at California (Pa.) and Potomac State College of West Virginia University.
Richmond's argument for reinstatement will be heard Thursday in Youngstown, Ohio.