NFL Reinstates Disgraced Michael Vick
Disgraced superstar Michael Vick, who missed two National Football League seasons while serving a jail sentence for running a dog-fighting ring, was reinstated by the league.
But the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback will not be allowed to take part in regular season games until the sixth week of the season at the earliest.
The 29-year-old is able to sign with a new team and can play in pre-season games.
"I am also encouraged by your recognition that you cannot do this yourself, and that outside mentors and continued counselling will provide you with valuable support and assistance," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter to Vick.
"After discussing possible mentors with you, I have asked (NFL) coach Tony Dungy to continue his work with you and to initiate a more formal mentoring relationship with you.
"Earlier today, we discussed in detail with Coach Dungy the precise nature of that relationship, and I share your view that Coach Dungy can help you in many ways as you rebuild your life and resume your career.
"I will stay in close touch with Coach Dungy and his views will be part of my decision concerning whether and when you return to play."
Vick, once the highest-paid player the league, also gave Goodell a detailed letter listing his financial affairs, accommodations, counselling and volunteer work with the animal Humane Society.
Vick was released from an American prison on May 20 and returned to his home in Virginia until his sentence ended on July 20.
The NFL suspended Vick indefinitely after he pled guilty in August 2007.
"In deciding whether to reinstate a player, I have stressed my belief that playing in the NFL is a privilege," Goodell added in the letter.
"It is not an entitlement. Everyone fortunate enough to be part of the league is held to a standard of conduct higher than that generally expected in society and is correspondingly accountable when that standard of conduct is not met."
Atlanta cancelled Vick's contract after he was released from prison.