SAVED FROM SHAQTIN’ By Arthur George-Special to BASN JaVale McGee is reclaiming...
Separating facts from fiction
The Eagles quarterback, who has homes in Pennsylvania and Virginia, was barred from attending a football camp in Raleigh, N.C., and a charity golf tournament he was headlining in Tucker, Ga.
Vick’s travel has been subject to review by probation officers ever since his release from jail in 2009 on a federal dogfighting conviction, according to his spokeswoman. The travel limits this weekend followed a June 25 shooting outside Vick’s birthday party in Virginia Beach, Va.
Probation officials were not available to comment Sunday. The reason for the restrictions was unclear.
The spokeswoman said that Vick has always been allowed to travel with the Eagles for trips related to his job.
“There are not and there have never been any restrictions with Mr. Vick traveling with the Eagles,” said his spokeswoman, Judy Smith. “The travel restrictions unrelated to his employment have always been subject to the conditions with the probation department.”
While police and a prosecutor have said Vick was not a suspect in the shooting, he has faced criticism for hosting an open, widely promoted party, given the terms of his probation. Possible sanctions from probation officials or the NFL could still cost the quarterback and the team.
The league is investigating the matter.
The Eagles are counting on the 30-year-old Vick to back up Kevin Kolb this year. Even after missing the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the seven-year veteran is the most experienced quarterback on the roster. The only other reserve on the roster is Mike Kafka, a rookie taken out of Northwestern in the fourth round of this year’s draft.
Vick was given little leeway from league and team officials when he returned to the NFL in 2009, and a Yahoo Sports reporter wrote on his Twitter account Sunday that cutting the quarterback is “absolutely” on the table for the Eagles. The team is unhappy with Vick’s interaction with Quanis Phillips, the reporter also wrote on Twitter.
Phillips, a fellow defendant in Vick’s dogfighting case, was the victim of the June shooting, according to Vick’s attorney, Larry Woodward. (Police have not identified the victim or charged anyone in the shooting.)
As part of his probation, Vick is barred from interacting with Phillips, who reportedly was treated at a hospital and released after being shot in the leg.
This marked the second report that the Eagles were considering releasing Vick, following an earlier story from the Associated Press, but the team has publicly and privately denied both reports.
Any “report or speculation that suggests the Eagles are considering releasing Vick are not true,” a high-ranking Eagles official said Sunday.
The football camp organizers were frustrated by Vick’s absence, saying they had paid him a $2,000 deposit and found out about his inability to attend Sunday at about 2 a.m.
“We’re not crazy. No state agency is communicating at 2 o’clock in the morning that he’s not allowed to come,” Cornelius Corprew, director of Camp Elite Sports’ football camp, told the Associated Press. “I think that was a selfish act.”
Organizers for the golf tournament said they learned Sunday that Vick would not attend the event, which began at 10 a.m.
Corprew told the AP that although the two events were scheduled on the same weekend, Vick had assured organizers that the schedule would not be a problem.
A prosecutor in Virginia said last week that Vick was in a “confrontation” at his party but was not involved in the shooting.
Police have said they know who fired the shots but would not bring charges because of a lack of cooperation from witnesses and the victim. They said Vick was not a suspect.
NOTE: Staff writer Jeff McLane contributed to this report.