Former Hokies quarterback Michael Vick is expected to go into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame this September, but he won’t if 90,000 people have anything to say about it.
That’s how many signatures are on two online petitions at change.org that oppose the induction of Vick according to Roanoke.com. Vick served 19 months in federal prison for 2007 dogfighting convictions.
The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, which is a constituent college of both Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland, had the loudest rebuttal for Vick’s enshrinement, posting a statement on Facebook:
“The College unequivocally opposes honoring an individual whose past actions contradict our values and the cornerstone of our mission,” the statement from Dean Dr. Cyril Clarke said. “Over the course of several days, I have communicated with President [Timothy] Sands and other campus administrators to express our disappointment and opposition to this decision. I continue to be in conversations with the president regarding this issue.”
Clarke also noted his school “was not part of the nomination process nor the decision, which was made by a committee of past athletes.”
Virginia Tech, however, released a statement defending the decision to induct Vick into the hall of fame.
“In considering Mr. Vick’s nomination to our sports Hall of Fame, the criminal activities in which he engaged, his subsequent conviction and time he served for his crime were also considered, and it was informed by the remorse he has shown since that conviction, the work he is currently engaged in to advance animal welfare issues, as well as his efforts to help our current student athletes, based on lessons he’s learned in his own life, make positive choices as they begin their adult lives,” the statement read.
“This in no way condones the actions for which he was convicted. The university remains dedicated to the protection of animal health and welfare and embodies great care and compassion for all living animals.”
Vick, along with four other athletes, are to be inducted into the Virginia Tech Hall of Fame at halftime of the Hokies’ home football game against Old Dominion on Saturday, Sept. 23.