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Volume 25 No. 177
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49ers' Organizational Culture Again In Spotlight After Foster Release

49ers officials placed Foster on a team probation earlier this year after another arrest
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The 49ers today officially released LB Reuben Foster after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence over the weekend, and the move is "another indication that the 49ers’ game plan for dealing with bad behavior might have more holes" than their game plan for execution on the field, according to Scott Ostler of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Foster has been on "team probation since his arrest this year on another domestic violence charge." Because of the 49ers' "history over the past six years of being soft on crime, the organization has been on public probation." The legal problems of "several players -- and the team’s responses to those troubles -- started under a former coach and general manager, but under the same CEO: Jed York." The current game plan under GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan "seems the same" as the one under the previous regime. Foster was a "risk before the 49ers drafted him," and to some fans and observers, keeping Foster around after "multiple subsequent incidents and arrests carried a whiff of 'here we go again.'" This is an organization that "desperately needed to present a new, no-BS response to player misbehavior." But with Foster, the 49ers "seemed to follow their old, flawed game plan" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/26). YAHOO SPORTS' Charles Robinson wrote the 49ers are "being judged right now," as they "should be." Foster "represents a significant gamble that turned into an ugly mistake," and it "comes at a time when the franchise has already hit a number of potholes in the path to a total cultural reset inside the building." The situation is "embarrassing" for Lynch, who "unequivocally stumped for Foster publicly more than anyone else in the organization" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/25).