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SANTA CLARA – Linebacker Aldon Smith changed his plea in Santa Clara County Superior Court this week, but his status with the 49ers remains unchanged, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday.
“It’s part of a legal process,” Harbaugh said. “I am not an attorney or a judge. I’m a football coach. So I will let that go through the legal process.”
Smith on Wednesday pleaded “no contest” to three felony weapons charges, two misdemeanor DUI counts, as well as another count for a license plate switch on the vehicle used during the DUI. The two DUI counts consist of the basic DUI, as well as having a blood-alcohol level of nearly twice the legal limit.
A judge is scheduled to sentence Smith on July 25. He faces anywhere from no time in jail to four years, four months.
Last offseason, Harbaugh said the 49ers want to be “above reproach in everything.” The comment was made at a time when the Seattle Seahawks had five players suspended for violating the substance-abuse policy in less than two seasons.
Columnist Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News pressed Harbaugh on that issue on Friday, as the 49ers opened their rookie minicamp.
“I want our players to strive to be above reproach in all regards,” Harbaugh said. “And I can’t imagine that anybody would tell anybody any differently. I can’t imagine, if it were you or I or anybody else here would want their youngsters to strive for anything less. (I) certainly wouldn’t promote that they strive to be below reproach.”
When asked if the 49ers players are “above reproach,” Harbaugh answered, “No, we’ve got some things we’ve got to resolve. But we are in a process and (we're) always are in a process of striving to be above reproach, yes.”
Smith, who could face an NFL suspension, remains active in the 49ers’ offseason program.
“He’s coming to work, showing up, he’s working hard, he’s listening, he’s doing what he says he’s going to do,” Harbaugh said. “We give him that opportunity, yes.”