The vibration on my hip meant email on my Blackberry. Breaking news from CNN. The National Football League, it said, just suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick indefinitely for admitting he ran a dogfighting ring.

The young girl just ahead of me in line at the Regal Cinemas at New River Valley Mall wore a Virginia Tech t-shirt, looked at the Blackberry and asked:

"Something important?"

"Depends on your point of view," I said. "The NFL just handed down an indefinite suspension to Michael Vick."

"It’s not enough," she said. "They should drown him like he did to those poor dogs."

Times have changed. A year ago you couldn’t have said a critical thing about Michael Vick without someone getting in your face. The former star quarterback of Tech’s football team enjoyed god-like status in the New River Valley.

Not now. Vick’s admission of participation in the cruel spectacle of dog fighting exposed a dark underbelly of life among the pampered athletes of big-time college sports. The dominoes are starting to fall.