Virginia Tech has released an official statement regarding Marcus Vick and his eligibility status for 2004. The rising redshirt sophomore will not play this season and his future with Virginia Tech will be contingent on whether or not Vick can keep his nose clean for the remainder of his tenure as a member of the football team. With the quarterback issue resolved before the Hokies take the practice field this month, one distraction for this young football team has been set aside for the time being.
The following statement has been issued by Virginia Tech.
BLACKSBURG, Va., August 3, 2004 -Virginia Tech student and athlete, Marcus Vick, has been suspended from the university through the end of the fall 2004 semester, effective immediately. After that, he will incur an additional year of "deferred suspension" where any new disciplinary action and conviction would trigger automatic suspension from the university. Furthermore, the athletic director has informed Vick that any further violations, either criminal, university judicial, or of athletic policy, will result in permanent dismissal from Virginia Tech athletics.
The university's judicial action stems from a widely reported conduct with local high school girls. (Vick was convicted on three misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. One other misdemeanor charge was dismissed. The conviction is on appeal, and in Virginia the finding is then set aside.) University judicial officials also took into consideration a recent charge by state police of marijuana possession. Vick has not yet had court action on that charge.
Re-admittance to the university is also contingent upon Vick's successful completion of a formal drug education and counseling program.
University President Charles Steger said, "I concur with the actions of the university judicial system. This is a stiff penalty. Vick won't play this year and loses that year of eligibility. If there is any more trouble, his Virginia Tech career is effectively ended. But just as important, this offers a compassionate, last chance opportunity for Vick to get his personal life in order."
Although, the current legal actions add ambiguity because they are not final, the university is taking action based on known student behavior. The judicial actions are consistent with established university policy and precedent.
Said Athletic Director Jim Weaver, "The university is doing the right thing in the name of discipline. It is sending Marcus a strong message that we take seriously student athlete behavior. This action also gives Marcus a chance to right himself. Fundamentally, he's a good person and we want to see him succeed."