Coach Steve Mariucci won't let the team forget.
Mariucci said he addressed his entire squad about the recent arrests of Sutherland and Newberry before this week's minicamp began at team headquarters. Sutherland was charged with drunken driving and felony hit-and-run for his involvement in a car crash on May 18, and Newberry faces battery charges for allegedly hitting a woman during a boating outing on May 24.
Mariucci's message to his players was clear: Know that you are in the spotlight and avoid problem situations when they present themselves.
"We're all subject to those sort of things when we're out in public and that sort of thing," Mariucci said. "We've got to be conscious of that and do a good job of minimizing it and staying away from it and avoiding it. Constantly.
"We do have a young team, certainly, and there's a learning curve and a learning process that will go on, whether we're talking about football, whether we're talking about being a 49er and handling the pressures that go with this, handing being in a fish bowl, living in the public eye, that sort of thing," the coach continued.
"And so, all of our players, whether they're veterans or young guys, need to deal with that constantly throughout their careers, after their careers, and choose to do the right thing when they have a decision. And our guys are very good about that. They really are. All of our guys are very good about that, and we've had a couple of weekends here where it's been contrary to that and unfortunate, but we're going to get all those things squared away, and I'm confident that our guys will be fine."
Before meeting with his team on the subject, Mariucci met again with Newberry, whom Mariucci had talked with immediately following his incident last Friday.
"I visited with him again this morning in my office," Mariucci said. "I've visited with other people regarding the incident. It's been explained to me several times, and right now the police and the authorities are handling it. My guess is it's going to be over with fairly soon. It's unfortunate, and Jeremy and I talked about the importance of him avoiding that sort of situation. And he's just got to be able to do that. Hopefully this sort of thing won't come up again. He's got to do a good job of avoiding that sort of thing."
Newberry declined comment Wednesday, referring questions about the incident to his agent, Mike Sullivan. But Newberry later told SFI and a few other 49ers beat writers, "I think everybody that knows me halfway decent knows that I would never strike a woman. If I was ever to punch a lady, my dad and my grandfather and my dead grandfathers would all crawl out of the grave, and they would line up and whip my ass together, probably with sticks and bats and everything else. I don't hit women. I didn't even fight with my sisters growing up."
Newberry's sister, Jennifer Newberry, also was arrested after the incident. It's possible charges against Jeremy Newberry could be dropped later this week.
In addition to his legal situation, Sutherland still faces possible fines and/or suspensions from both the 49ers and NFL. Mariucci says those issues currently remain unresolved.
"I don't know," he said. "We are in communication with the league, but no decisions have been made at all on any of that sort of thing. We're sorting those sort of things out. Those sort of things seem to be falling in place right now. So we felt it was important for him to get back on the field with his teammates and working again."