Though Petition Has More Than 15K Signatures, Demands Falling On Deaf Ears

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Those who want SUNY Cortland to ban Michael Vick are wasting their time, the school said Thursday.

Despite an online petition that is demanding Vick be denied entry to the Jets training camp this summer, Fred Pierce, the school’s director of public relations, said Thursday the school has no intention of considering the request, regardless of the thousands of signatures attached to it.

“It’s nothing that we’re entertaining,” Pierce said. “It’s a public institution, there’s no legal reason to disallow someone from coming on to campus. We can’t really do that. We have a great partnership with the Jets, and their personnel decisions are their personnel decisions.”

Though the Daily News has reported that the Jets will return to the upstate New York school for training camp, officials said this week they have not heard anything from the team about this summer.

“We have not received an official decision from them or an unofficial decision from them and they have not made any announcements,” Pierce said in a recent phone interview with 104.5 The Team in Albany, according to the station’s website.

Jets general manager John Idzik praised the college in January but acknowledged the team would explore other options.

The Jets have held training camp four out of the past five years in Cortland, but fans — and apparently the school — are still awaiting word from the franchise.

“At this point, we don’t even know what our relationship with the New York Jets is,” Pierce said. “We certainly hope we have a relationship with them this summer and would like to host camp.”

As for Vick, the petition on to keep the quarterback off campus property now has more than 15,000 signatures. That’s up from about 1,600 on Monday afternoon.

Vick served 19 months in prison after pleading guilty to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge in 2007. The 33-year-old was signed this offseason to mentor — and challenge — incumbent starter Geno Smith.

“We don’t know who started it but if you look at the people who are signing, it’s really all over the globe,” Pierce said of the petition. “I don’t know of any alumni or students that have signed it. It does not to appear to be a local phenomenon.”

SUNY Cortland doesn’t have “a relationship with Michael Vick and it’s not our place,” he added. “It’s premature for us to really get involved.”

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