Following another run-in with the law on Friday, Aldon Smith first received public support from head coach Jim Tomsula.
"It's a sad day," Tomsula said at the time, following Smith's release. "This is a day that doesn't have anything to do with football. Although he won't will be playing football for the San Francisco 49ers, he will be supported, and he will be helped."
Now his former college coach, Gary Pinkel, is offering encouragement for a player that he says "was never a problem, ever" during his tenure at Missouri.
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"Aldon, he's part of our family. I'm going to get a hold of him this week," Pinkel said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We feel for him. I want him to get healthy again and get back going.
After a fast start to his career on the field, Smith ran into trouble beginning in 2012 when he was arrested in Miami on DUI charges. He completed a program for first-time offenders and the charge was reduced to reckless driving.
In Sept. 2013, Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession. He later entered a rehab facility and sat out five weeks.
To start the 2014 season, Smith missed the first nine weeks for violating the NFL's substance abuse and personal conduct policies.
His release from the 49ers came on the heels of an arrest on suspicion of hit-and-run, DUI and vandalism on Aug. 6.