Michael Vick due in court July 26

By: associated press
By: associated press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Michael Vick won't be on the field when the
Atlanta Falcons open training camp a week from tomorrow. He'll be
in a federal courtroom in Virginia answering charges that he
participated in a dog-fighting operation.

Vick and three associates must appear in Richmond next week for
bond hearings and arraignments on charges contained in a detailed,
18-page indictment handed up yesterday.

What happens after that is anyone's guess.

For the time being, the NFL intends for the foreseeable future
to let the star quarterback continue to play.

After consulting with the Falcons, commissioner Roger Goodell
and top league officials agreed to let the legal process determine
the facts.

A person with knowledge of the meeting, who requested anonymity
so the case would not be influenced, said the N-F-L would stick to
that position for the time being, despite its new personal conduct
policy.

In April, Goodell suspended Tennessee's Adam "Pacman" Jones
for the 2007 season even though Jones had not been convicted of a
crime. He did, however, have ten encounters with police and five
arrests since he was drafted in 2005.

The NFL players' union took the same stance as the league. In
a statement released today, the union said the allegations against
Vick "are extremely disturbing and offensive." But it said the
case is in the hands of the judicial system, and the legal process
must be allowed to run its course.


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