By Mark Maske Jerry Markon
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick tested positive for marijuana two weeks ago and was ordered by a federal judge yesterday to remain in his home every night under electronic surveillance while awaiting sentencing on a dogfighting charge.
U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson imposed the overnight home confinement and other pre-sentencing restrictions on Vick at the request of Vick's probation officer, Patricia Locket-Ross, who wrote in court documents that a urine sample submitted by Vick on Sept. 13 tested positive for marijuana.
The drug-testing was under the supervision of the court, not the NFL. But Vick is on indefinite suspension by the NFL after pleading guilty to a federal conspiracy charge related to his admitted participation in a dogfighting operation. League officials have indicated they would monitor developments in the case before determining how long Vick's suspension will last.
Hudson is to sentence Vick on Dec. 10. Vick is facing a recommended jail term of 12 to 18 months, but Hudson can sentence Vick to up to five years in prison if he chooses.
Hudson yesterday ordered Vick to participate in substance therapy and mental health counseling if deemed "advisable" by his pre-sentencing supervisors, and ordered Vick to remain in his home from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily or as directed by his pre-sentencing supervisors. The home confinement is to include electronic monitoring, for which Vick was ordered to pay.
William R. "Billy" Martin, Vick's Washington-based attorney, said in a written statement: "This is a very difficult time for Mr. Vick. He will comply with the court's new conditions regarding release."
A grand jury in Virginia indicted Vick on state dogfighting charges Tuesday.Falcons Fine Hall
The Falcons fined cornerback DeAngelo Hall $100,000 for an outburst during Sunday's loss to the Carolina Panthers and might suspend him for at least a quarter of this weekend's game. Hall told reporters he thought the sanctions were too harsh and he planned to file an appeal through the NFL Players Association. Hall got into a heated sideline exchange with Falcons Coach Bobby Petrino and an assistant coach after committing three penalties on a Panthers touchdown drive. . . .
Quarterback Jake Delhomme sat out the Panthers' practice because of a strained right elbow. David Carr would take over as the starter this weekend if Delhomme is unable to play. . . .
The Chicago Bears announced that Brian Griese had been elevated to the starting quarterback job ahead of Rex Grossman. . . .
NFL teams had a record number of minority assistant coaches last season, according to an annual study of the league's diversity. The league's 165 minority assistant coaches last season represented a four percent increase over the 2005 season, according to Richard Lapchick, the head of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.