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Rees, Calabrese suspended for season opener

Matthew DeFranks | Tuesday, July 31, 2012

After an offseason of uncertainty, junior quarterback Tommy Rees and senior linebacker Carlo Calabrese will be suspended for the season opener against Navy on Sept. 1.

Irish coach Brian Kelly said the pair will not travel with the team to Dublin.

“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 suspensions come on the heels of the players’ arrests at an off-campus party in May.

Rees was initially charged with battery, illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor and two counts of resisting to law enforcement following an incident at an off-campus party May 3. On July 23, Rees pled guilty to illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor and resisting arrest. The other two charges were dropped.

Rees was sentenced to 11 months of probation, 50 hours of community service and a 30-day suspended sentence.

Calabrese has been charged with misdemeanor intimidation. His legal issues have not been resolved, and he is set to appear in court in August.

Both players were locked into position battles. Rees, who started 12 games a year ago and threw for 2,871 yards, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, was battling junior Andrew Hendrix, sophomore Everett Golson and freshman Gunner Kiel for the starting quarterback job. Meanwhile, Calabrese was competing with senior Dan Fox for the starting nod at outside linebacker.

Notre Dame will open its season Sept. 1 against Navy in Dublin without Rees and Calabrese.