Commissioner Roger Goodell notified Michael Vick on Friday that he is suspended indefinitely without pay from the National Football League, effective immediately.
Following are excerpts from Commissioner Goodell’s letter to Vick:
» “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.”
» “I have advised the Falcons that, with my decision today, they are no longer prohibited from acting and are now free to assert any claims or remedies available to them under the Collective Bargaining Agreement or your NFL Player Contract.”
More – this is from the Excerpts from the “Summary of the Facts” filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond yesterday. The statement was signed by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his attorneys.
3. . . . VICK, his co-defendants, and others were involved in dog fights at 1915 Moonlight Road, Smithfield, Virginia. They also participated in dog fights in other states. In connection with the vast majority of these fights, the co-conspirators and other participants in the dog fights traveled in interstate commerce and then committed multiple acts in furtherance of committing, promoting, managing, establishing, and carrying on the unlawful activities described in the indictment. VICK and the co-conspirators operated “Bad Newz Kennels” for the dog fighting venture. VICK agrees that “Bad Newz Kennels” qualifies as a “business enterprise” that engaged in a continuous course of conduct and series of transactions in furtherance of the dog fighting operation from the time of its creation until April 25, 2007.
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4. VICK agrees that the “Bad Newz Kennels” business enterprise involved gambling activities in violation of the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia as set forth in the indictment. In general, only those accompanying the opposing kennels and “Bad Newz Kennels” associates were allowed to attend the fights. For a particular dog fight, the opponents would establish a purse or wager for the winning side, ranging from the 100’s up to 1,000’s of dollars. The purse was contingent and dependent on the uncertain outcome of the dog fight, with the winner taking all of the purse at the conclusion of the fight. Participants and spectators would also occasionally place side-bets on the fight, dependent on the ultimate outcome or certain events occurring during the course of the dog fight. Most of the “Bad Newz Kennels” operation and gambling monies were provided by VICK. When “Bad Newz Kennels” won a particular fight, the gambling proceeds were generally split by [Tony] TAYLOR, [Quanis L.] PHILLIPS, and, sometimes, [Purnell A.] PEACE. VICK did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. VICK did not receive any of the proceeds from the purses that were won by “Bad Newz Kennels.” . . .
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12. In or about the summer of 2002 at various times, PEACE, PHILLIPS, TAYOR, and VICK “rolled” or “tested” additional “Bad Newz Kennels” dogs by putting the dogs through fighting sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road to determine which animals were good fighters. VICK was aware that PHILLIPS, PEACE, and TAYLOR killed a number of dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions around this same time period. VICK did not kill any dogs at this time. . . .
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32. In or about April 2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS, VICK, and two others “rolled” or “tested” additional “Bad Newz Kennels” dogs by putting the dogs through fighting sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road to determine which animals were good fighters. PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK agreed to the killing of approximately 6-8 dogs that did not perform well in “testing” sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road and all of those dogs were killed by various methods, including hanging and drowning. VICK agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK. .