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Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees and LB Carlo Calabrese suspended for season opener

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Tommy Rees' push to be Notre Dame's starting quarterback has been grounded — literally.

Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese have been suspended for Notre Dame's season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland.

The two were arrested back in May after a confrontation with police at a house party. Rees was originally charged with four misdemeanors — two counts of resisting arrest, battery and minor consumption of alcohol — and police said he kneed an officer and had to be pepper sprayed while on the ground.

Calabrese tried to intervene on Rees' behalf and was told to step away, and he shouted to police, "My people will get you." He was charged with misdemeanor intimidation.

In July, Rees pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and the minor consumption. The other two charges were dropped. He was sentenced to 330 days of probation, 50 hours of community service and he had to write a letter to police apologizing for his actions. Calabrese's charges have yet to be resolved.

Coach Brian Kelly, who in the past has been criticized for his lax punishments, didn't mince words in a statement tweeted out by spokesman Brian Hardin.

"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."

The part about climbing the depth chart is especially interesting considering Rees was embroiled in a heated four-man quarterbacking battle before taking the wrong path. That leaves the door open for junior Andrew Hendrix, sophomore Everett Golson or freshman Gunner Kiel to make their first collegiate start and perhaps secure the job for good. Hendrix has some collegiate experience, but Golson seems to be the fan favorite after turning some heads with his athleticism and accuracy during spring ball.

Rees really made his own bed here. He started 12 of 13 games last year and though he had 14 interceptions and lost five fumbles, he was still the frontrunner to lead the Irish onto the field this fall. Now, he'll have to work his way back into the good graces of the coaching staff and sadly, hope that his quarterbacking counterparts fail to get the job done across the pond.

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