Vick needs to take his medicine

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Did you hear that Mississippi State fired Sylvester Croom? Yeah, they hired Michael Vick, because they thought he could get those dogs to fight.

In bad taste, I know, but it was a lot funnier prior to Vick changing his plea to guilty this week. After denying the charges in the federal dog-fighting conspiracy case, both in court, to the public and to the National Football League, it appears Vick finally realized he was heading to a, pardon the expression, bloodbath should the case go to court due to the fact that three of his codefendants have already plea bargained a deal to testify against Vick.

Now the record-setting quarterback, who may or may not ever play football for the Atlanta Falcons ever again, faces anywhere from a year to five years in the pin. Sources close to the prosecutor in charge of the case have hinted at a 12 to 18 month prison term, but in the long run the judge has the final say in Vick&8217;s stint in Federal custody.

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In my humble opinion, I say throw the book at Vick. I have always thought of Vick as the more morally founded of the two Vick brothers prior to this incident, (see Marcus&8217; gun assault of a teenager in a McDonalds parking lot, his attempt to break another player&8217;s leg when the guy was on the ground in the Gator Bowl and his affinity for marijuana) and I think Michael is one of those rare athletes who changes the way their position has been traditionally regarded. But Vick lied, and in my book lying is the worst possible thing a person can do.

I wanted to disbelieve the charges brought against him, I wanted to believe his denials to the media, the court and the NFL, but it appears the truth has come out, and not in the manner I, a person who has liked Vick since he was a Hokie, had hoped it would. The way this has come to fruition will lead me to never again hold Vick in high regard.

The dog charges are appalling, but had he copped up to his involvement in the first place, taken his medicine and shown remorse, I might have allowed it to be swept under the rug after a few years and several hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to animal shelters by Vick later. Now he is dead to me as a fan.

After the announcement of his guilty plea, conversations have been kindled as to his future in the NFL. If I was the commissioner today the conversation would be over. Vick would be banned from the league for the simple fact that he lied to his team&8217;s owner and to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Of course, I don&8217;t think Goodell is going to be soft on Vick either. He and the league are currently waiting on the findings released in the case on Monday to make a decision about the punishment he faces from the NFL, and I have an itching suspicion it won&8217;t bode well for Vick, who already has had a bad week (not that it isn&8217;t warranted).

There have also been conversations circulating this is a racist witch-hunt, and the punishment being dished out and the media outcry is an example of white individuals trying to rid the black community of a prominent figure. To that I have to disagree.

Vick is seeing the media attention given to any player that decides to walk such a morally apprehensive road. While I am not naive enough to think racism has been erased from the minds of Americans, a guy who

has witnesses, friends and business partners mind you of his own race, saying he is personally responsible for the execution of at least eight dogs shouldn&8217;t qualify to play the race card.

There are plenty examples of players being brought down for things that either didn&8217;t happen, lack proof or have been blown out of proportion &8212; Kobe Bryant and Barry Bonds are two individuals who come to mind. Vick isn&8217;t one of them.

I hope the court, the NFL and fans of football give Vick the medicine he deserves for his actions and lack of respect for the three afore mentioned groups.

Brandon Glover is the sports editor of The Times. He can be reached at