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QB's day in court ends in fine, license suspension

Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick
pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless driving and no contest to
marijuana possession, shortly after he was suspended from the
university for the 2004 season.

The younger brother of Atlanta Falcons quarterback and former
Hokies' star Michael Vick was fined $300 and his driver's license
was suspended for 60 days for reckless driving. As part of a plea
agreement, he was placed in a first offender program on the
marijuana charge.

Vick refused to answer reporters' questions outside the
courthouse, but his lawyers distributed a written statement from
his client. Vick apologized and said he intends to return to
Virginia Tech.

"I have learned a great deal from the mistakes I have made,"
the statement said. "I will work hard to earn respect as an
athlete and a person. I understand that I had a responsibility to
conduct myself appropriately at all times and will work to do that.
I am asking that Virginia Tech, and the other people who support
me, not give up on me."

The first offender program will require Vick to perform 24 hours
of community service, undergo drug counseling and random drug
tests, and give up his driver's license for an additional six
months.

The judge ordered Vick to return to court on Aug. 9, 2005, to
determine whether he has met all the requirements.

The 20-year-old has had a series of run-ins with the law this
offseason.

In May, he was convicted on three counts of contributing to the
delinquency of a minor after he and two teammates gave alcohol to
14- and 15-year-old girls at the players' apartment. He was
acquitted of a charge of having sex with one of the girls and was
sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $2,250.

The reckless driving and marijuana possession charges were filed
against Vick last month after an early morning traffic stop on
Interstate 64 in New Kent Kent County. He was clocked on radar at
86 mph, 21 mph above the speed limit, state police said. The
traffic stop led to the marijuana possession charge.

Re-admittance to the university is contingent on Vick's
successful completion of a drug education and counseling program.

Athletic director Jim Weaver said he told Vick any further
criminal, athletic or university violations will result in Vick's
permanent dismissal from Virginia Tech sports.

The suspension "is a stiff penalty," Virginia Tech president
Charles Steger said. "Vick won't play this year and loses that
year of eligibility. If there is any more trouble, his Virginia
Tech career is effectively ended."

Weaver added: "This action also gives Marcus a chance to right
himself. Fundamentally, he's a good person and we want to see him
succeed."

Vick, a redshirt sophomore, was expected to challenge senior
Bryan Randall for the quarterback's job this season after the two
essentially shared the job last season.

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said in a statement the team
will support Vick.

"Marcus Vick is a young man with a good heart who has made some
poor decisions but still has an opportunity to have a bright
future," Beamer said.

In the case involving the teenage girls, tailback Mike Imoh, 19,
was sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $750. Wide receiver
Brenden Hill, 19, was sentenced to 20 days in jail and fined
$1,500. Imoh and Hill were suspended for three games.

Vick and his teammates are appealing their convictions to
Montgomery County Circuit Court. According to The Washington Post, Vick's is scheduled for Jan. 10 and 11, Imoh's for Sept. 16 and 17 and Hill's for Oct. 20 and 21.

Vick also was suspended for one game last season for a violation
of team policy. He had been placed on indefinite suspension one
month ago.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.