BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) UPDATE:
Virginia Tech has responded to two petitions circulating online to try to stop Michael Vick's induction into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame.
In a statement, a spokesman says the university considered Vick's conviction in the 2007 dog fighting ring case, but they also took into account his current efforts to advance animal welfare issues.
The University also acknowledged that there are " those who do not and will never agree with this decision."
Virginia Tech also says Vick's nomination "in no way condones the actions for which he was convicted."
You can read the full statement from Virginia Tech below:
Mr. Vick’s induction into the university’s sports hall of fame acknowledges his tremendous achievements as a student athlete—who some will say was the greatest in the history of the university.
We understand that there are those who do not and will never agree with this decision.
In considering Mr. Vick’s nomination to our sports hall of fame, the criminal activities in which he engaged, his subsequent conviction, and time he served for his crime were also considered.
And it was informed by the remorse he has shown since that conviction, the work he is currently engaged in to advance animal welfare issues, as well as his efforts to help our current student athletes, based on lessons he’s learned in his own life, make positive choices as they begin their adult lives.
This in no way condones the actions for which he was convicted.
The university remains dedicated to the protection of animal health and welfare and embodies great care and compassion for all living animals.
Following the decision on July 11 to induct Michael Vick into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, petitions to keep him out are getting lots of support.
Between two primary online petition on the website Change.org, there were more than 60,000 signatures Thursday night.
Both petitions object to the induction following Vick's 2007 involvement in dog fighting rings
The two women who started their petitions against Michael Vick making the Hall of Fame both started them on the same day, Saturday, but don't know each other.
Both admit they were fans of Michael Vick, but his cruelty to animals is too much to overlook.
Jennifer Breeden graduated from Virginia Tech in 2003, and has a petition with more than 31,000 signatures Thursday night.
She said, "I don't feel like any of the dogs that were involved in his dog fighting, they never got justice. It's not going to help them in any way, but maybe it will help with the idea of it it did bring some justice to the dogs."
Rachel Beasley went to Virginia Tech from 2003-2005 before transferring to Radford University.
Her petition had just over 29,000 signatures Thursday night.
She said she's heard people say Vick should be honored for his abilities on the Hokies team.
But she responded that a criteria of the Hall of Fame is having a good character and reputation, which she said Vick does not.
She said, "Don't you want more from a student athlete than just athletic ability? He really did nothing other than bring money and fans to the fans just on his athletic ability."
Vick is a subject many said they didn't want to discuss Thursday night in Blacksburg.
But those who did speak proved he's still a polarizing figure.
Hokie Sophomore Adam Meyer said, "I think he should, I mean that's all in the NFL and it's in the past. He made his mistake and he tried to make up for it, so I think it's right that they do him."
Virginia Tech Graduate of 2016 said, "I have a feeling that he kind of redeemed himself. There's obviously more he can do to bring up his image within the university and the community, and I'd like to see that happen before he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame."
Breeden and Beasley both said they'd present their letters and petitions to University Tim Sands closer to the September 22 induction.
A university spokesperson said he wasn't available to talk Thursday, but the school is expected to give it's view on the petitions sometime Friday.