49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

July 27, 2013
Fangio: Locker room normal after Brooks-Divens incident

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Many of you have been asking how Ahmad Brooks and Lamar Divens possibly could coexist in the 49ers locker room this summer and perhaps beyond. After all, it's only been a month and a half since Brooks clocked Divens over the head with a beer bottle, sending him to the hospital for stitches, according to court records. In return Divens has demanded $1 million from Brooks, which Brooks has refused to pay, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney.

One observer, however, says there have been no flare ups since the June 8 altercation. "I have not seen any indication that it has dragged inside the building at all," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "And if I hadn't known that something happened, I wouldn't have known something happened by the way that people are acting."

Fangio not only runs the 49ers' defense, he is the de facto position coach for the outside linebackers. That would give him a lot of time with Brooks in particular.

Brooks is a starter while Divens is a journeyman nose tackle who is currently behind Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey on the depth chart. Which means the situation is likely to resolve itself when the 49ers begin paring down their roster in a month or so.

Is there any precedent for two 49ers fighting and then coexisting inside the locker room? Yes, but it wasn't nearly as ugly -- and as public -- as the one that went down last month.

In 2002, a locker-room fistfight broke out between tailback Kevan Barlow and fullback Fred Beasley after Barlow, so the story goes, accused Beasley of blocking harder for Beasley's buddy, tailback Garrison Hearst, than he did Barlow. The 49ers attempted to defuse that situation by moving Barlow's locker across the locker room from where the rest of the running backs and fullbacks had their space. During most of Barlow's career with the 49ers, his locker room was with the offensive linemen's.

There were no more fistfights. But it always was an uneasy relationship between the two players. Both remained with the 49ers through the 2005 season when Beasley retired and Barlow was supplanted by some guy named Frank Gore.

Neither Divens nor Brooks has been made available to the media since the start of training camp.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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