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Harbaugh doesn’t have much to say about Aldon Smith suspension

Harbaugh Getty Images

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh addressed for the first time on Saturday the nine-game suspension imposed against linebacker Aldon Smith.  Characteristically, Harbaugh didn’t have much to say.

“Well, I don’t see where any type of comment by me would be productive,” Harbaugh said.

He also declined to provide many details about why Smith has been allowed to remain with the team and what he will be able to do.

“I am still learning that myself,” Harbaugh said, twice.

It shouldn’t be that hard to figure out what Smith can and can’t do.  It should be difficult to understand how Smith has been allowed to do anything.  A player suspended under the personal-conduct policy is banished from the team.  A player suspended for a year under the substance-abuse policy is banished from the team.

Smith was suspended under the personal-conduct policy and the substance-abuse policy for less than a year.  It logically doesn’t follow that an enhanced suspension under a different policy would allow him to be with the team for the entire suspension.

The more appropriate outcome would have been for the league to impose separate suspensions on Smith.  During the suspension under the personal-conduct policy, he would have been banished from the facility.  During the suspension under the substance-abuse policy, he would have been be permitted to join the team.

Instead, the NFL crafted an unconventional (and, from the perspective of other players, unfair) outcome that underscores the possibility that Smith sacrificed his appeal rights under both policies in exchange for consideration such as the ability to stay with the team — and possibly even a reduced suspension for good behavior.

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14 Responses to “Harbaugh doesn’t have much to say about Aldon Smith suspension”
  1. doctorrustbelt says: Aug 31, 2014 10:21 AM

    No surprise.

    The low character harbaugh family never has much to say about justice.

    SEE: ray rice

  2. redandgoldhitman52 says: Aug 31, 2014 10:26 AM

    I love all you haters. Stay classy.

  3. redngold1 says: Aug 31, 2014 10:29 AM

    Two points: Harbaugh can be evasive in a very direct but evasive way (I’m still learning.. I can’t be productive… etc..). Point two: Seems the player’s union, the player, the team and the NFL all agreed to nine, with no room for an appeal and no room to comment by anyone. Save for an apology from Smith, which he issued.

  4. kamthechancellor says: Aug 31, 2014 10:36 AM

    What? He has so much to say though…about someone else’s team.

  5. vikesr4reel says: Aug 31, 2014 10:42 AM

    This guy is such a clown…
    Classless..
    Him and the niners deserve each other

  6. chicagotomahawk says: Aug 31, 2014 10:43 AM

    That team went from the “above reproach” stance to “please approach the stand” in the snap of a finger.

  7. jimrip says: Aug 31, 2014 10:54 AM

    Typical 49’ers.. find a way to cheat the system..
    Seattle would be proud!

  8. 760raptor says: Aug 31, 2014 10:55 AM

    Niner fan here. Harbaugh is a tool. He needs to stop buying $10 khakis and put on his big boy pants on the sidelines. His meltddowns have cost his team big wins when he should’ve been focused on strategy. Contrasting his gameday demeanor to Bill Walsh’s makes me want to vomit. I hope he gets traded after they go 9-7 this year.

  9. sportsfan18 says: Aug 31, 2014 11:05 AM

    Mr. Florio,

    You said the magic word… Logically.

    “Smith was suspended under the personal-conduct policy and the substance-abuse policy for less than a year. It logically doesn’t follow that an enhanced suspension under a different policy would allow him to be with the team for the entire suspension.”

    As an attorney, you understand about precedent etc…

    It was wrong for the league to only punish Mr. Rice two games and Mr. Goodell has admitted as much now.

    Sadly, the league does not always follow logic when deciding and implementing their punishments etc…

    But then again, neither do our courts or us as parents either all the time…

  10. jdrewsy says: Aug 31, 2014 11:06 AM

    H: I think it’s just a lot of gobble, gobble, turkey, you know?

    Q: What is gobble, gobble turkey?

    H: Just gobble, gobble, gobble turkey from jive turkey gobblers. I think that paints a pretty good picture.

  11. wimpyburgers says: Aug 31, 2014 11:23 AM

    Whether it’s fair or not, it’s obvious why Smith gets to remain with the team during his suspension.

    Goodell believes Smith needs adult supervision and structure. And Harbaugh believes it too even though he’s reluctant to say so in front of the press.

  12. mazenblue says: Aug 31, 2014 11:57 AM

    Guys like Harbaugh make me want to puke just looking at him.

  13. pop562 says: Aug 31, 2014 1:24 PM

    Harbaugh is a great coach and if he does leave the 49ers teams will be flicking to pick him up.

  14. brucetrimble says: Aug 31, 2014 1:26 PM

    Harbaughs may know how to coach players to play, but they don’t know how to coach players to be men.

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