NEW KENT, Va. – Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick (search), suspended for the 2004 season because of run-ins with the law, pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless driving and no contest to marijuana possession.
Vick, 20, 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.
"I have standing in front of me a young man with enormous potential," New Kent County General District Judge R. Bruce Long said. However, he said Vick appeared to be "on a self-destuctive path to throwing that potential away."
"Am I wrong?" Long asked Vick.
Vick replied, "Yes, sir."
"Are you going to prove me wrong?" said the judge.
Again, Vick replied, "Yes, sir."
Vick refused to answer reporters' questions outside the courthouse, but his lawyers distributed a written statement by their client. Vick apologized to family, friends, coaches and teammates and said he intends to return to Virginia Tech (search).
"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, andnal, athletic or university violations will result in Vick's permanent dismissal from Virginia Tech athletics.
The suspension "is a stiff penalty," said Virginia Tech President Charles Steger. "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."
Said Weaver: "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.
In the Montgomery County case, 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.
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.