Michael Vick, the disgraced Atlanta Falcon's former starting quarterback, completed the terms of his federal sentence on dogfighting charges, appearing in federal court briefly with his attorney Lawrence Goodman to complete probation-related paperwork.
It remains unclear whther Vick will actually return to the N.F.L., however.
An NFL spokeswoman told Reuters today that Vick's suspension "status is under review" with the league.
N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Vick indefinitely without pay on August 24, 2007, the same day that Vick pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting and gambling charges.
Goodell took Vick to task that day for his admitted criminal wrongdoing, and the harm he caused the League and NFL fans, saying:
- "Your admitted conduct was not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible. Your team, the NFL, and NFL fans have all been hurt by your actions."
- "Your plea agreement and the plea agreements of your co-defendants also demonstrate your significant involvement in illegal gambling. Even if you personally did not place bets, as you contend, your actions in funding the betting and your association with illegal gambling both violate the terms of your NFL Player Contract and expose you to corrupting influences in derogation of one of the most fundamental responsibilities of an NFL player."
- You have engaged in conduct detrimental to the welfare of the NFL and have violated the league's Personal Conduct Policy."
- "I will review the status of your suspension following the conclusion of the legal proceedings. As part of that review, I will take into account a number of factors, including the resolution of any other charges that may be brought against you, whether in Surry County, Virginia, or other jurisdictions, your conduct going forward, the specifics of the sentence imposed by Judge Hudson and any related findings he might make, and the extent to which you are truthful and cooperative with law enforcement and league staff who are investigating these matters."
Vick was so cash poor after his conviction, that he filed for bankruptcy relief.
- Michael Vick Dogfighting Case:
Plea Agreement | Statement of Facts | Federal Indictment
- Vick Awaits NFL judgment, may struggle to recapture stardom (Reuters)
- Michael Vick Bankruptcy Judge Wants New Plan By July
- Ranking of State Dogfighting Laws (Humane Society of the United States)
- Vick is Released, but His Future in N.F.L. Remains Cloudy (New York Times)