I haven't written about the Michael Vick dog-fighting story yet, because I figured it was a non-story that would go away. But the story continues to grow and the latest news isn't good.
ESPN reported on Sunday that "extremely reliable" sources told investigators that Vick is "one of the heavyweights" in the illegal world of dog fighting. The District Attorney in the case is confident that charges will be brought. That doesn't mean necessarily mean charges will be brought against Vick, but then again it could mean that.
Today it was announced that a search warrant for the house and property has been issued, but hasn't yet been carried out. The search warrant was issued because an informant told investigators that there are up to 30 dead dogs buried on the property. There seem to be a lot of people talking to the police about Vick's activities -- I wish the Falcons receivers had this much information about what Vick was doing.
Will the NFL suspend Vick? It's looking more likely. If Vick is formally charged with a crime, they almost certainly will. Even without a conviction, Commissioner Goodell can suspend him for violating the NFL's "personal conduct policy" or for "engaging in conduct detrimental to the league". I'm not sure what that means but "forcing dogs to bite each other until one of them dies" seems like it would fall under that category. On the other hand so does "Matt Millen's job performance" and I'm still waiting for that suspension.
What really concerned me is this search warrant story. It wouldn't surprise me if Vick has a legal team that keeps him safely away from court. Hey, he's a rich athlete, it wouldn't be <cough..Ray Lewis..cough> the first time. This story makes Vick look bad, but if he stays quiet he can ride it out.
However, if investigators turn up mass graves of dead puppies in his backyard, this thing is going to spin out of control. Goodell would almost have to do something. Even if Vick is completely innocent, Goodell might do it anyway to send a message to the league: "Your friends and family reflect on you".
This story might still blow over, but now I'm officially worried.