The school has issued a statement in response to people questioning how Vick meets the good character requirement. The statement cites Vick's athletic achievements, as well as the 18 months he spent in prison, as "time he served for his crime."
"It also has been informed by the remorse he has shown since that conviction, the work he is currently engaged in to advance animal welfare issues, as well as his efforts to help our current student athletes, based on lessons he’s learned in his own life, make positive choices as they begin their adult lives," according to the statement — a reference to Vick's partnership with the Humane Society of the United States on an anti-dogfighting campaign, among other charitable activities Vick has engaged in since his release.
"Mr. Vick’s induction into the university’s sports hall of fame acknowledges his tremendous achievements as a student athlete — who some will say was the greatest in the history of the university," the statement goes on to say. "We understand that there those who do not and will never agree with this decision. It in no way condones the actions for which he was convicted. The university remains dedicated to the protection of animal health and welfare and embodies great care and compassion for all living animals."
"Apparently, whoever is in charge of making these decisions hasn’t read the USDA Investigative Report that is publicly available online," observes Darcy Dennett, whose film "The Champions" documents the remarkable effort made by a group of people who worked tirelessly to ensure Vick's former dogs would not be defined by the cruelty they endured, and adopted into loving homes. "I’m not sure a person can ever serve enough time for the extreme level of cruelty outlined by eye-witness accounts in the USDA Investigate Report."