Irish QB Rees admits guilt, apologizes for actions
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees apologized to police, the school and fans after pleading guilty Monday to misdemeanor resisting law enforcement and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor in connection with his arrest outside an off-campus party in the spring.
The 20-year-old junior quarterback was sentenced to 50 hours of community service and 11 months of probation. He also must write a letter of apology to officers involved in his May 3 arrest in South Bend. He was given a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail.
Prosecutors agreed to dismiss one count of resisting law enforcement and a battery count.
Notre Dame released a statement from Rees in which he apologized to his "family, friends, the Notre Dame community, Fighting Irish fans and the South Bend Police Department" for his actions.
"I made a poor decision and I accept full responsibility," Rees said in the statement. "This experience will make me a better person and I will focus on being a positive role model and citizen. ... To the people I disappointed, I am dedicated to winning back your trust and confidence."
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Rees was pepper-sprayed and arrested after he allegedly ran away from an off-campus party and knocked the wind out of a police officer who caught up to him.
Officers went to the party several blocks from campus after receiving complaints about noise. Students were celebrating the end of spring classes.
Police said Rees was among about five people who jumped a backyard fence and ran after officers arrived. They said an officer pursued Rees, continually telling him to stop, but Rees refused.
When Rees ran out into the street, a passing taxi driver maneuvered his car to block Rees' path, police said. Rees struck an officer who caught up to him in the chest with his knee, knocking the wind out of him, they said.
The taxi driver held Rees until the officer caught his breath. Police said Rees continued to put up a struggle after being knocked down. The officer used pepper spray to help subdue him.
Police arrested Notre Dame linebacker Carlo Calabrese the same night on a misdemeanor count of intimidation. Officers said Calabrese became upset when he saw Rees being arrested and that he ignored warnings to stay out of the street and twice told an officer: "My people will get you."
Rees, from Lake Forest, Ill., is one of four quarterbacks vying for the starting job this season. He started 12 of 13 games as the Irish went 8-5 last season.
Calabrese, who is from Verona, N.J., was a backup linebacker who played in every game last season after starting eight games as a sophomore during the 2010 season.
Updated July 23, 2012