Michael Vick and Justice

As everyone knows by now, a grand jury indicted Michael Vick on various charges stemming from an alleged dogfighting operation. This story is old news, although it will be hanging around for awhile. I’ve avoided it for several reasons, but not the obvious ones.

I make it abundantly clear that I’m a Hokie. I can’t imagine loving any other school the way I love Virginia Tech, or being so invested in the larger sense of community. Of course, in the last eight years, Michael Vick has been a huge part of that. His arrival on the football field in 1999 propelled us to our first national championship game. We lost that game, but our place in the national discussion of college football jumped infinitely as a result. The money poured in, the recruits got better, and the winning feels like tradition now. Where athletic success was a pleasant surprise when I arrived at Tech in 1991, there are now expectations. Thank you, Michael Vick.

That does not mean I’m willing to support and defend Michael Vick without reservation. Anyone who could commit the acts he is charged with is vile scum. If Vick is indeed guilty of the allegations against him, I hope he rots in a fiery pit filled with the rotting carcasses of every dog he and/or his friends executed. That would be too good, but it’s a start.

However, he is innocent until proven guilty. I’m not naive in understanding the allegations. I suspect he is guilty. But I believe in our justice system more. I will withhold judgment until such faith is no longer warranted. I refuse to embrace hysteria.