Monday, March 22, 2010
York discusses McCloughan's departure
By Mike Sando
49ers president Jed York announced a "mutual parting" with general manager Scot McCloughan, using the term "private personnel matter" to avoid discussing specifics. The sides obviously reached a settlement ending McCloughan's tenure as general manager.
Among the highlights, straight from York:
- McCloughan is prohibited from joining another team until after the draft.
- Unspecified personal reasons were behind McCloughan's downfall.
- York promised McCloughan that he would withhold public comment on the matter for five days, and that period ended Monday. York repeatedly said his integrity meant more than perceptions created by the organization's silence amid reports of McCloughan's ouster.
- York has not yet decided whether to hire another GM for the long term. Director of player personnel Trent Baalke will "take over" and run the draft. Baalke will have the "decision authority" through the draft. The team will then decide upon its structure.
- York and executive vice president Paraag Marathe will not become GM or fill the role effectively. "The one thing I will promise you is I will not be the GM and Paraag will not be the GM," York said. A different answer might have fueled perceptions that McCloughan's ouster was an inside job, independent of whatever personal issues McCloughan might be facing.
- The draft board is 90-95 percent set.
- McCloughan's brother, David, will remain college scouting director. "David is a professional and he has been great through this process and he will continue to be there through the draft" -- same as others in the front office.
- York initially refused to assess McCloughan's legacy, saying only, "You will have to ask him." I pressed him on this one and he said, "I think Scot has added a lot of good players. We haven't made the playoffs yet. We expect to make the playoffs this year. None of our legacies are set right now."
- McCloughan's departure will not affect Alex Smith's role as starting quarterback even though McCloughan was perceived to be the quarterback's strongest defender within the organization. "Alex is our guy," York said.
Those were the highlights of a conference call featuring York and reporters. More to come.