We Can’t Keep Vick Off Campus: SUNY Cortland [Audio]
On Wednesday morning, the New York Jets announced that they would be having their training camp at SUNY Cortland for the fifth time in sixth years.
For roughly a month, there’s been a petition on Change.org titled “Disallow Michael Vick from the Cortland Campus” that asks for individuals support to keep the newly signed Jets quarterback away from the school’s grounds.
“I love SUNY Cortland,” states the petition, “and cannot abide welcoming this sociopath onto our campus with open arms. We need to stand by what is right as a university by barring him from the grounds.”
SUNY Cortland wants it to be known that the petition is not linked to the school in any way.
“We have complained to Change.org that whoever started the petition is anonymous, which violates their user guidelines,” said Frederic Pierce, SUNY Cortland PR Director, in an exclusive conversation with 104.5 The Team on Wednesday morning.
Podcast: SUNY Cortland Spokesman Speaks with 104.5 The Team
“The person who began [the petition] appropriated the name SUNY Cortland and instead of linking to a profile as required, linked to our website. It’s generated a lot of confusion and we are in no way involved with this petition. Change.org has not been responsive. They said they were going to e-mail the person who started it but that has not happened.”
The school is only requesting that the petition not be linked to them directly but not suggesting that it be taken down.
“From our perspective, it’s freedom of speech. As an educational institution, we celebrate people’s right to express their thoughts and feelings on issues.”
The petition currently has nearly 23,000 supporters and counting but according to Pierce, there’s nothing the school can do to keep Vick off their campus.
“As a public institution, we can’t ban someone unless we have a legal basis. We provide facilities and services to the New York Jets and we don’t any involvement in their personnel or management decisions and nor should we.
“We support the Jets making their personnel decisions and doing what they feel they need to do to be a successful team.”
The Jets signed Vick this off-season, who went to jail for 23 months after pleading guilty in 2007 to federal charges in connection to running a dog fighting ring. Head coach Rex Ryan has said that there will be an open-competition between Vick and last year’s starter Michael Vick.