Notre Dame suspends QB Rees for season opener

Notre Dame has suspended starting quarterback Tommy Rees for the program’s season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland on September 1, forcing some oddsmakers to pull the game off the board.

The Fighting Irish opened as 13.5-point favorites for the overseas opener and was bet up as high as -14.5 before news of the suspension.

The decision comes down following Rees’ guilty plea for a misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor charge this spring. Linebacker Carlo Calabrese was also suspended for the first game. The two players were arrested at an off-campus party on May 3 in which Rees was pepper sprayed and reportedly knocked the wind out of an officer trying to apprehend him.

"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," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said in a release. "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."

Notre Dame will now have backup quarterbacks Andrew Hendrix, Everett Golson and Gunner Kiel to choose from. Hendrix is the only one with game experience. Neither Rees nor Calabrese will travel with the team to Ireland.

Rees passed for 2,871 yards, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions during his sophomore season. Calabrese recorded 37 tackles and one sack last season.

Notre Dame is priced at +4,550 to win the BCS National Championship and has a season-win total of 8.5.

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