Former  Virginia Tech football star Michael Vick is out of pro football for at least this season and probably out of the sport forever. The only real question now is how long the fallen sports hero will spend in prison on dogfighting charges.

The New York Times reports today that Vick’s attorneys are considering a guilty plea now that his three co-defendents have cut deals. Few athletes have fallen so fast.

Writes Tim Dahlberg of The Associated Press:

It wasn’t even a month ago that Vick and three others were indicted on charges they ran a dog fighting ring. Now he stands alone, his three co-defendants now seemingly more than eager to tell all to get their own sentences reduced.

His lawyers still talk bravely about a Nov. 26 trial. But the noose is tightening, just as it did around the necks of some dogs who never had a chance.

Vick’s attorneys have been given a few more days to decide whether he should enter a guilty plea. They’re playing hardball because if Vick doesn’t agree, he could face even more charges in a superseding indictment the government says it plans to bring in the case later this month.

That indictment would likely include even more gory details, though it’s hard to imagine much worse than the stomach-turning tales of blood and death in the initial charges.

Vick’s involvement with dogfighting goes back his days as a pampered student athlete at Tech when the university exercised its considerable power to quash not only an investigation into that dispicable activity but also their football star’s many run-ins in the law.

By protecting Vick at all costs, Tech gave the young man the illusion that he was above the law. By covering up the Vick’s crimes, the powers that be at Tech are as guilty as he.