BLACKSBURG, Va. – Not everyone at Virginia Tech is in agreement about Michael Vick being added to the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
The dean of the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine said in a statement, “The College unequivocally opposes honoring an individual whose past actions contradict our values and the cornerstone of our mission.”
The university made the announcement on July 11 that the former quarterback would be honored.
Vick, who finished third in the 1999 Heisman Trophy voting – the top finish ever by a Tech player – went on to become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.
Vick was a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 when his life off the field drew national attention. Vick and three other men were indicted on charges related to a dog-fighting ring known as “Bad Newz Kennels.” His involvement and subsequent prison sentence have made him a controversial figure in sports.
Vick, and the other four new honorees, will be inducted during a Hall of Fame dinner on the Tech campus on Friday, Sept. 22, the evening before Tech’s home football game against Old Dominion. The inductees will then be introduced to fans at halftime of the football game.
Read the complete statement from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Cyril Clarke:
The recent decision to induct Michael Vick into the VT Sports Hall of Fame has generated a tremendous response from both the veterinary community and those who share our commitment to animal welfare and promoting the humane treatment of animals. The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine was not part of the nomination process nor the decision, which was made by a committee of past athletes. The College unequivocally opposes honoring an individual whose past actions contradict our values and the cornerstone of our mission. Over the course of several days, I have communicated with President 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.
The College of Veterinary Medicine will continue to stand behind our mission and advocate for an alternative outcome. Our mission has not changed and we will continue to work tirelessly to advance programs that promote the welfare of animals and be a strong voice that reflects our unified commitment to compassionate care and our dedication and respect for the animal lives that benefit from the education and care we deliver.
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