Virginia Tech staff still supporting Vick

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and members of his staff have not turned their backs on former quarterback Michael Vick, who was released from prison today to finish his 23-month sentence in home confinement in Virginia.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Beamer said he and his assistants have kept in contact with Vick by letter, and that Vick has responded about 10 times. Beamer said he wanted to let Vick know they were thinking about him.

"This is what I expressed to him, he can help so many kids but what he's got to do and what he is doing is get back on his feet," Beamer said. "He made a terrible mistake and he paid for it. He had it all in football. He lost all of it and now get back on your feet and go speak to kids and maybe you can influence a young person's life. Mike has lived it. That's my hope that in the end the positive part of this coming out will be that Mike can be a real influence on young people in the country.

"I do think he knew he could count on us," Beamer said. "We know what kind of person he is. We know what kind of individual he is. The guy made a mistake and let the wrong people be around him. But he's got a lot of good to him."

Vick's accomplishments are still honored and on display in the Hall of Legends in the Merryman Athletic Center. His sketch is included under the "Pride and Joy" display, for helping the Hokies to a national championship game and back-to-back 11-1 seasons before becoming the top NFL pick in 2001.