ND’s Rees, Calabrese suspended for season opener
By Mark Lazerus 648-3140 or email@example.com July 31, 2012 4:40PM
Irish QB Tommy Rees hasn’t had a signature game yet this season, as he’s been plagued by fumbles and picks. The numbers suggest the graduate of Lake Forest High School should pick the Pitt secondary apart on Saturday. | AP
Updated: July 31, 2012 5:14PM
The Notre Dame quarterback picture just cleared up a bit.
For one game, at least.
Irish coach Brian Kelly announced Tuesday that he suspended junior quarterback Tommy Rees and senior linebacker Carlo Calabrese for the Sept. 1 season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland.
The two were arrested on May 3 after fleeing from police after an off-campus party.
“Our players understand that it’s a privilege to be associated with the University of Notre Dame and its football program, but with that comes great responsibility,” Kelly said. “Carlo and Tommy put themselves in a situation that when given a choice between two distinct paths, they responded with a set of poor decisions. This conduct was inconsistent with my expectations for our football program — especially our veteran, team leaders.
“Carlo and Tommy will not travel with the team to Ireland and can attempt to climb the depth chart following the conclusion of their respective suspensions.”
Rees is locked in a four-way competition for the starting quarterback job after starting Notre Dame’s final 12 games last year and leading the Irish to an 8-5 record. With Rees benched for the Navy game, Kelly will turn to either junior Andrew Hendrix, sophomore Everett Golson or freshman Gunner Kiel — none of whom has started a college game. Only Hendrix has even appeared in a college game.
Rees was initially charged with two counts of resisting arrest — he was pepper-sprayed after knocking the wind out of a South Bend police officer, police said — and one count each of minor consumption of alcohol and battery, all misdemeanors. Rees pled guilty last Monday to one count of resisting arrest and minor consumption.
Calabrese was charged with misdemeanor intimidation for reportedly screaming at police officers while they arrested Rees. The two had jumped a fence while officers were in pursuit of them.
Rees issued an apology last week after being sentenced to probation and community service.
“I apologize to my family, friends, the Notre Dame community, Fighting Irish fans and the South Bend Police Department for my actions this spring,” he said. “I made a poor decision and I accept full responsibility.
“I learned a valuable lesson and witnessed first-hand that actions have consequences. This experience will make me a better person and I will focus on being a positive role model and citizen.”
This isn’t Notre Dame’s first high-profile suspension under Kelly. In the spring of 2011, star receiver Michael Floyd was suspended “indefinitely” after being cited for driving under the influence. He missed spring practice, but was reinstated in time for the season opener against South Florida.