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It's time to let Vick resume his NFL career


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POSTED: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Many who disagree are dug in deep, but it's time to cut Michael Vick some slack. He completed his sentence for dogfighting and it's correct that he be allowed the opportunity to make a living in the NFL, without delay.

He served 23 months for killing animals, while Donte' Stallworth was in jail 24 days for killing a human being while driving drunk. Spare me the walking-out-of-the-crosswalk stuff and other details, I've read up on them and understand them. But it still doesn't add up. No one here is saying what Vick did was OK — I just happen to value a human life a whole lot more than those of animals.

That doesn't mean I'm not against cruelty to animals, although I'm sure that's how it will be perceived by some of the zealots out there. I just hope the protesters who are bound to be at Vick's games put as much energy and passion into activities against cruelty to humans.

MADD is a group I can get behind. PETA, not quite as much.

It's good to remember Vick wasn't a model citizen before his conviction even when you subtract the dogfighting. It's also good to remember that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is as tough as they get in these situations, and Vick will be under the watchful eye of his NFL-appointed “;parole officer,”; Tony Dungy.

» From the time Rick Pitino hit it big nationally in the 1980s, a segment of the University of Hawaii basketball fandom has wished he'd stayed here, where he started his coaching career. Who knows what would've happened if he did?

But after the recent revelations of unsavory events in Pitino's life, I much prefer an honorable man like Bob Nash to an elite coach with that kind of baggage. Don't you?

» The State Ethics Commission bobbled the ball for 14 months only to drop it. The Sugar Bowl was a celebration, but also a business trip. When spouses and children join a state employee on a business trip the state (meaning we, the taxpayers), shouldn't have to pay their way. Now, we can debate how much of the BCS bounty UH should have been allowed to spend at its own discretion, but $2 million is an awful lot for a travel group that included quite a few people who didn't do much but enjoy the ride.

One administrator told me at the time UH leadership felt separating family for the holidays would bring about “;hardship.”; That's pretty silly, especially when you consider other people whose jobs keep them away from loved ones months at a time, including holidays — like those in Afghanistan and Iraq.

» Indicators continue to point toward no swap meet at Aloha Stadium on game days this fall. One less excuse for fans who say going to the game is too much of a hassle.

» Jake Heun looks like one of those big, strong and nasty old-school linebackers. It's such a deep position for the Warriors, but I hope he gets a chance to contribute, at least in short-yardage situations. He definitely looks like he can plug a hole and flatten a running back.

» Ten years ago, UH made the biggest turnaround in college football history in the won-loss columns. This year, the Warriors hope for the biggest turnaround in college football history by an offensive line.

» Those who think the Aug. 29 Brian Viloria fight at the Blaisdell won't draw because boxing no longer holds the cachet it once did could be right — especially if we don't begin to see a bit more promotional effort. They could, however, be seriously underestimating the longtime local fight fans.

But if a big crowd doesn't show for a reigning world champion from Waipahu, the sport truly is dead in Hawaii.

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Reach Star-Bulletin sports columnist Dave Reardon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), his “;Quick Reads”; blog at starbulletin.com, and twitter.com/davereardon.