Michael Vick ordered to stay out of training camp

By: associated press
By: associated press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Vick was ordered by N-F-L commissioner
Roger Goodell today to stay away from the Atlanta Falcons' training
camp until the league reviews the dogfighting charges against him.

Goodell said in a letter to the quarterback that although it is
up to the criminal justice system to determine guilt or innocence,
it is Goodell's responsibility as commissioner to determine whether
Vick's conduct violated league policies, including the Personal
Conduct Policy.

The NFL said Vick will still get his preseason pay and Goodell
told the Falcons to withhold any disciplinary action of their own
until the league's review is completed.

Goodell told Vick the league will complete its review as quickly
as possible and that he expects full cooperation.

The Falcons open camp on Thursday, the same day Vick is
scheduled to be arraigned in Richmond on charges of sponsoring a
dogfighting operation.

Vick was the Number One overall pick in the 2001 draft. Last
season, he became the first quarterback ever to rush for more than
a thousand yards.

After his indictment last week, the N-F-L's position was that it
would monitor developments and allow the legal process to
"determine the facts." Since then, pressure has been mounting on
the league and the Falcons, particularly from animal-rights groups.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals demonstrated at
Falcons' headquarters in Flowery Branch today and did the same
outside NFL offices in New York last week. At the same time,
Goodell was meeting with officials from the American Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The league and the ASPCA are
working on a program to educate players about the proper treatment
of animals.


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