The 49ers have acknowledged the allegation of sexual assault against receiver Michael Crabtree via the issuance of a standard, perfunctory statement that really doesn’t state anything.
“We are aware of the allegation against Michael and understand that he has fully cooperated with authorities,” General Manager Trent Baalke said. “The 49ers take such matters very seriously. We will have no further comment at this time as the legal process is ongoing. Additional requests for comment should be directed to Michael’s attorney.”
There is no indication that the 49ers are considering benching Crabtree for all or part of the NFC title game or otherwise disciplining him at the present time. If anything, the statement suggests that the 49ers will allow the legal process to play itself out before doing anything.
And that’s entirely the 49ers’ prerogative. Crabtree is entitled to the presumption of innocence. That said, if the 49ers or the NFL discover via their own investigation that the allegation has merit, discipline could be imposed by the league office under the personal-conduct policy — even without an arrest or formal charges.