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Elam to play at Kent

Joe Hettler | Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Former Notre Dame football player Abram Elam was convicted of sexual battery in August for his participation in an alleged gang rape of a female Notre Dame student with three other football players.

But next week he will start classes at Kent State University with a football scholarship to play for the Golden Flashes in the fall with one year of eligibility remaining.

“He’s paid a price,” Kent State coach Dean Pees told the Akron Beacon Journal. “I feel very confident that he’ll contribute to our program, on and off the field, in a great manner.”

Elam received an 18-month suspended sentence and two years probation for the felony. He was the only one of the four former Notre Dame players convicted of any crime surrounding the incident. Donald Dykes was acquitted, while the prosecutor dropped charges against Lorenzo Crawford and Justin Smith before their trials.

Elam was a reserve safety for the Irish in 2001 after redshirting as a freshman in 2000. Kent State ranked last in pass defense in the Mid-American Conference last season.