Vick, dismissed by Hokies, says he will turn pro

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick told The Virginian-Pilot that he would enter the NFL draft on Friday, hours after he was dismissed from the team as a result of numerous legal transgressions and his unsportsmanlike conduct in the Toyota Gator Bowl.

University president Charles Steger announced the dismissal on the same day that coach Frank Beamer met with Vick and his mother, Brenda Boddie,
in their Hampton Roads home, the school said in a statement. Beamer
informed them of the decision during the meeting.

Friday night, Marcus Vick told The Virginian-Pilot that he would turn professional. "It's not a big deal. I'll just move on to the next level, baby" he said at a Virginia Beach restaurant, the newspaper reported Friday night on its Web site.

Asked if that meant he would enter the NFL draft, he said, "Yeah, definitely."

Vick, the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael
Vick, was suspended from school in 2004 for several legal problems.
The junior came under new and intense scrutiny this week after
replays showed he stomped on the left calf of Louisville
All-American defensive end Elvis Dumervil during the Jan. 2 bowl.

"Everybody does it in the NFL and college football," Boddie, speaking to The Associated Press by phone from
her home,
said. "He just got caught doing it, and since he's been in trouble
in the past everything just got blown all out of proportion."

No penalty was called on the play and Vick claimed its was
accidental. He further hurt his cause by claiming to have
apologized to Dumervil, the NCAA sacks leader, but the Louisville
player said no such apology was ever offered.

Boddie acknowledged that her son "did the wrong thing" when he
stomped on an opponent during the Gator Bowl.

Boddie said she understood why Virginia Tech kicked the dazzling
junior quarterback off the team Friday, but she resents portrayals
of him as a "monster."

"I cried a lot yesterday," she said. "But we're just going to
move on and make something positive out of this and Marcus is going
to show everybody that he's not the person a lot of people claim he

On Friday, it was revealed that Vick had been stopped for
speeding and driving with a revoked or suspended license in Hampton
on Dec. 17, Cpl. James West said. Vick's license had been taken
away in August 2004 when he was cited for reckless driving and
marijuana possession in New Kent County.

"Everybody does stupid stuff when they're 19, 20, 21 years
old," she said. "Everybody goes through that. Nobody's perfect.
He just did the wrong thing."

Steger suspended Vick from school at that time, and warned that
any additional problems would effectively end his time as a member
of the Hokies' football team.

"The university provided one last opportunity for Vick to
become a citizen of the university and readmitted him in January
2005, with the proviso that any future problems would result in
automatic dismissal from the team," Steger said Friday.

Beamer said in a statement that he was disappointed with the
outcome. "We wanted what's best for this football team and
Marcus," he said. "I certainly wish him the best."

School officials said in a statement that there would be no
further comment until a news conference Saturday. Beamer, Steger
and athletic director Jim Weaver, who said the stomping embarrassed
the university, were all expected to attend.

The Virginian-Pilot said Beamer met with Vick, his mother, and Vick's attorney, Larry Woodward, at about 4 p.m. Friday. Woodward said Vick planned to issue a written statement Saturday afternoon.

"The meeting, it was emotional," said Woodward. "It was not a fun meeting for anybody, but Marcus will look to the future, and we'll have something on that [Saturday]."

Vick said before the Hokies' 35-24 comeback victory in the Gator
Bowl that he planned to return for his senior season. Now, his
choices are to declare for the NFL draft by the Jan. 15 deadline or
transfer to a Division I-AA school so he can play next season.

Vick entered this season knowing he would face hostility from
opposing fans, mostly stemming from his drug arrest and another for
serving alcohol to underage girls during the 2003 school year.

He said he was ready for it, but reacted to chants of "rapist"
and "child molester" at West Virginia on Oct. 1 by making an
obscene gesture in the direction of the crowd. He met with Beamer
following that incident and apologized to the team.

In the ACC championship game against Florida State, he drew an
unsportsmanlike conduct flag for spiking the ball after a touchdown
run with the Hokies trailing, and following the 27-22 loss, walked
by reporters after the game without commenting, saying he didn't
have to.

He finished that game 26-for-52 for 335 yards with one
interception and a fumble near his goal line that teammate Duane Brown recovered. Vick threw one scoring pass and ran for two more
touchdowns, but also was sacked six times for minus-35 yards.

On the field, he was often dazzling, but sometimes tried to do
too much.

The Hokies started 8-0 and were No. 3 in the polls when they
hosted Miami on Nov. 5. But Vick threw two interceptions and
fumbled the ball away four times in a 27-7 loss.

This season, he was runner-up to Wake Forest's Chris Barclay as
the conference's offensive player of the year, and was voted the
first team quarterback on the all-conference team.

In 24 career games, the last 13 starts, Vick was 207-for-346 for
2,868 yards, 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He also rushed 184
times for 492 yards and six TDs.