Early Thursday morning, quarterback Tommy Rees, along with linebacker Carlo Calabrese, was arrested in South Bend, according to an AP report. Rees was charged with resisting arrest, battery of an officer, minor in consumption and public intoxication.
This looks to be Rees' first offense, although the preliminary charges are quite heavy, especially the battery of a law enforcement officer. We'll have to wait and see what happens to Rees' charges before there can truly be a judgement on the punishment Brian Kelly should hand down.
Ordinarily at Notre Dame this would be an instant "he's gone" situation, but with Kelly's treatment Michael Floyd's third drinking offense we can wait and see. Although it must be mentioned that Rees is not Floyd. If these weighty charges stick, expect to see Rees sidelined for quite some time, possibly dismissed from the university all together. Best wishes to Rees and hoping things get sorted out.
On the field, the Irish have finished spring ball and are sitting in the midst of a quarterback battle where four horses are racing to be the starter. Gunner Kiel was the furthest from the lead after the spring season, while Rees was in a tough battle with Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson. With this Rees suspension, the question mark over who will be Notre Dame's starting quarterback is unchanged.
If Rees is allowed back after serving one of those awesome summer suspensions, then he can be in the mix come fall. Should Rees be suspended for any number of games headed into the 2012 season, then the Irish and deciding between two players instead of three. That's a plus for Golson and Hendrix as they will get more repetitions in practice to gain hold of the offense, at least until the suspension is over and Rees can try and work his way back into the competition.
If Rees' career at Notre Dame is over, expect Golson and Hendrix to come to a screen near you all season long. Ultimately, they are not really better off and they are not really worse off as a team with the Rees news. He's a decent quarterback who was good enough to win the job, but the gap between Rees and his main competition was never large enough to crown him as the starter people believed in.
Eyes will be watching how this situation plays out in South Bend. The whole "higher standard" air that is Notre Dame took a bit of a hit a season ago when Floyd was not only allowed back on the team but did not miss any games for the DUI.
Les Miles suspended his starting quarterback, Jordan Jefferson, until the charges were brought down to a misdemeanor. We'll see if these charges stick and how Kelly and Notre Dame respond to the Rees situation.