Well, we get what we deserve. As fans, we always complain in the offseason that we don’t get enough news. But as Notre Dame fans, a quiet offseason might be on our wish list pretty soon.
A college party was being thrown right off of campus, to celebrate the end of classes (yesterday was the last day of classes for Notre Dame students before finals. Trust me, this is about the ONLY time Notre Dame students party on Wednesdays anymore. Embarrassing yet true) and several players were in attendance. The South Bend Police Department received a noise complaint about the party, and proceeded to the house to shut it down. When the police came knocking, several of the underage students, including Rees, tried to take off and run. The police then yelled for them to stop and stay put, at which point everyone but Tommy listened. Suffice to say, Tommy has never been known for his wheels, and was quickly corralled. Actually, he was running from the officer, and got away from him in the street, but he found his path blocked by a cabbie who heard the officer yelling for Tommy to stop. The cab driver restrained Tommy until SBPD caught up. Tommy was reportedly not cooperative, arguing with the cops, and even kneed one of them, knocking the wind out of him (it was also reported that he kicked one of them, although this hasn’t been confirmed). UFC may or may not be in his future. Oh yeah, and then SBPD pepper sprayed him. Carlo Calabrese (also at the party, but who is 21) tried to intervene on Rees’ behalf and attempt to persuade the police to leave Tommy alone, but was unsuccessful.
Carlo received a disorderly conduct charge, but managed to get off an awesome menacing statement before he left: “My people will get you”, is reportedly what he told the police as he left the scene. So we’ll see if the D-Line is doing a sack dance on the SBPD in the near future.
For the record, Rees reportedly had a BAC of .11 (.08 is the legal limit) while Calabrese registered a .12. Now, keeping in mind the weights of the two players, Rees was really falling behind anyway.
All jokes aside, here’s bottom line: While Carlo is 21 and is getting off with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct, Tommy Rees is facing four charges, including battery to law enforcement, which is a felony.
Now, attending the University, I have a lot of feelings on this subject. Almost every single student has a run-in with SBPD at some point in their career, and that generally occurs after a busted house party. And what occurred at the incident above is pretty standard operating procedure. That is, they approach the house and tell everyone to stay calm, and not run. They ask what is going on, but then tell the house owners that the party has break up and go home. Way more often than not, if everyone is calm and cooperative, NOBODY gets in trouble. While it is extremely frustrating that South Bend has a lot of more serious crime that should be taken care of first, it is still the job of the police to respond to complaints such as the one they received last night. Look, everybody knows that college parties go on, and underage drinking is rampant across the country. And though everybody gets mad when the police come for a party bust, they really do allow most kids to leave unscathed, because they know that an arrest or even just a drinking ticket is a serious black mark to throw on a student’s resume. But in the case of Tommy Rees, he panicked, wasn’t cooperative, and really screwed up. He has nobody to blame but himself for how it turns out. And that is pretty much the consensus on campus: He was in a bad situation, sure, but if he handled himself properly, it is almost certain that this event never gets reported. While everyone hates the SBPD as a rule, it is pretty hard to defend the standard “drunken idiot” at a party. The biggest frustration from the students is that situations like this are bound to happen, because the on-campus party culture at Notre Dame is so restricted. Whereas an on-campus drinking incident could be handled by RAs, rectors, or even the dreaded ResLife, by naturally forcing partying and drinking off campus, Notre Dame is subjecting its own students to the city police. And this is what happens.
As for how this affects the quarterback race (yeah, the important stuff), we will have to wait and see. Obviously this isn’t a good thing for Tommy, but Michael Floyd was suspended zero games last year for a DWI (which, it is important to note, is not a felony like battery). As the details become clearer, anything can happen. This could be a blip on the radar and nothing like Floyd’s DWI last year (Tommy’s first offense compared to Floyd’s third), or be so incredibly dumb that we may be looking for a future dismissal. But as always, we hope for the best. A small note would also be that since the football team has no more events until the summer, both Carlo and Tommy will get their Brian Kelly scolding away from the rest of the team, so he won’t be able to make a point to all of them, at least in person.
A very important note: Tommy Rees will be formally charged at 1 PM ET today. If the prosecution feels that the case is too weak, all charges could potentially be dropped. So that is definitely something to monitor.
UPDATE: Tommy Rees and Carlo Calabrese will not appear in court today (May 3rd). Calabrese is currently scheduled for May 17th, while Rees could appear in court as soon as tomorrow.
Another UPDATE: Tommy Rees is being charged with four misdemeanors, as the felony charge was dropped. He will be released on bail later today.
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