CORTLAND, N.Y., April 7 (UPI) -- An online petition seeking to ban newly-signed New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick from attending training camp at the State University of New York Cortland campus has already received more than 1,600 signatures.
The Change.org petition, which is addressed to Cortland school president Erik J. Bitterbaum, seeks to keep Vick from attending camp this summer due to his involvement in dogfighting.
A portion of the petition reads:
"Michael Vick has recently become a member of the New York Jets football team, which practices on the SUNY Cortland campus. Vick has served a short sentence for bankrolling a dogfighting conspiracy, but animal cruelty charges were dropped in return for his guilty plea. This does not mean, however, that his crimes should be forgotten."
A graphic photo of a mauled dog next to a picture of Vick accompanies the petition.
“He is a monster and a disgrace, and has never once apologized. He has even admitted that he would continue to fight dogs if given the chance,” the petition reads. “I love SUNY Cortland, and cannot abide welcoming this sociopath onto our campus with open arms. We need to stand by what is right as a university by barring him from the grounds.”
Vick pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge in 2007 and served 19 months in prison.
Cortland chimed in about the "Disallow Michael Vick from the Cortland Campus” petition.
"I am completely against animal cruelty. I love dogs. I have a dog. I think what he did was bad but he's on the Jets now. It's his team. He already got his punishment. People can hate on him, but he’s just trying to do his job," said SUNY Cortland student Luke Hinton, according to Champlain Valley.com.
"I'm not a fan of Michael Vick. I don't agree with his past actions are. But I also think he has paid for them," said another SUNY Cortland student, Allison Campos.
The Jets have held training camp at SUNY Cortland for four of the past five years with the lockout-shortened NFL season being the only year the team didn’t come to campus.