|Tommy Rees put himself in a bad situation with Notre Dame and Brian Kelly, but will he get another chance?|
There is an old saying that suggests nothing good ever happens after midnight. Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese can probably vague for that. Early this morning the two junior Fighting Irish players were arrested by South Bend police for various charges. Calabrese was released on bond for a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, but Rees was not so lucky. Right now the quarterback who ended each of the last two seasons in South Bend as the starting quarterback is drawing up plays from the inside of a jail cell while he waits for a judge to decide on a bond after being charged with resisting arrest, battery to law enforcement, minor consumption and public intoxication.
According to reports Rees and Calabrese were arrested just after midnight on the 700 block of Notre Dame Avenue. Calabrese was released before 4 a.m. while Rees was not. He could remain in jail for up to 48 hours according to WNDU.
“The University is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled in a prompt and professional manner through the criminal justice system,” Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said in a statement. “Internal discipline is handled privately, in accord with our own policies and federal law.”
What this does for the playing future of each player remains unknown. Notre Dame has already wrapped up their spring practices so any form of football punishment seems unlikely at this time. With Calabrese getting off with a misdemeanor it does not seem likely that his roster spot is any real jeopardy. Rees on the other hand, looks a little foggier.
With Rees one quarter of a four-man quarterback competition it would not be a shock to see this news unleash a hadoken on his chances to become the starting quarterback for 2012. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. As with any legal case it is important to see it through until the end. Surely Brian Kelly will give Rees that much before determining his ultimate fate on the roster.
But we should take a look at recent history with Kelly’s decisions. Remember, Michael Floyd received a citation for drunken driving in March 2011, and Kelly suspended his leading receiver indefinitely. The suspension, of course, was lifted in August in plenty of time for Notre Dame’s football season and fall practices. Kelly received criticism for the suspension, as leaving a star player out of spring practices is hardly considered being hard-nosed discipline. Will Rees get the same sort of punishment?
Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not Rees has the same kind of value to Ntore Dame’s offensive success as Floyd did. Kelly may be in a damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t situation. If he suspends and reinstates Rees in time for the season (and names him the starter) the critics will be out in full force suggesting that Kelly is no better than the Urban Meyer profiled by The Sporting News recently. If Kelly cuts ties with Rees and the quarterback situation is prickly in the fall, while Rees puts up big numbers at an FCS program (again, pure speculation going on here) then Kelly will be set up for criticism on that front as well.
But let’s see what happens with Rees and the legal process first.