It's been a trying week for defamed NFL quarterback Michael Vick. He has been officially released from the team that drafted him, the Atlanta Falcons, and on Tuesday, a United States bankruptcy judge gave him a deadline of July 2 to submit a revised Chapter 11 plan. Vick has been ordered to repay a multitude of creditors that he owed prior to his confinement in federal prison for backing a multi-state dog fighting ring.
Chapter 11 is a common form of bankruptcy that allows an individual court protection in conjunction with an organized payment plan or financial restructuring.
In April of this year, US Judge Frank Santoro rejected Vick's first reorganization plan, calling it unrealistic and not nearly ambitious enough, as it called for Vick to keep several homes and other valuable assets. Like the first attempt, this version is expected to rely heavily on his ability to be reinstated to the NFL. League commissioner Roger Goodell has made no such commitment, however. In fact, Goodell has remained quite stern on his stance that he must see "real remorse" on the part of Vick before he will allow him to wear a uniform with an NFL logo.
If the new plan fails, Santoro will appoint an independent trustee to oversee Vick's finances. As of right now, Vick is working with a team of attorneys and advisers to formulate the plan. The judge set a hearing date of August 27 to determine the new plan's legitimacy. Goodell's decision will come only after Vick's sentence is formally completed on July 20.
Unfortunately for Vick, some of the dates conflict. If his new plan, due July 2, depends on him being able to play professional football again but he won't know that until after July 20, he will be submitting it with a fair amount of risk. However, should Goodell feel Vick deserves a second shot, August 27 may be a great day for Vick.
The former Virginia Tech scrambler owes more than $20 million, $6.5 million of which is a bonus from the Falcons he has agreed to repay. His initial bankruptcy petition cited assets of only $16 million. Like most well-recognized athletes, Vick had several lucrative endorsement deals. Given his crime and subsequent reputation, there is little chance he will be hired to promote anything, further challenging his ability to repay what's owed.
In a telling court moment, Vick uttered a surprising bit of financial wisdom, saying, "I did a lot of big spending. I tried to take care of a lot of people. And it backfired on me."
Vick's crime, operating an illegal dog fighting operation, has been subject to increased vigilance. Laws are being passed quickly and since his incarceration, 22 new state and federal laws about dog fighting have been passed.
Currently completing his sentence on home confinement, Vick is working a $10/hour construction job. He is also allowed to go to church, court appointments and the doctor.