Cubs

Notre Dame QB ends up in jail

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Notre Dame QB ends up in jail

From Comcast SportsNet
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees was pepper-sprayed and arrested early Thursday after he allegedly ran from away from an off-campus party and knocked the wind out of a police officer who caught up to him. A probable cause affidavit says the 6-2, 210-pound Rees continued to resist even after being knocked down by police Officer Brandon Stec, so Stec used pepper spray and was finally able to subdue him with the help of other officers. Police Capt. Phil Trent said linebacker Carlo Calabrese tried to talk to police, asking them why they don't like Notre Dame. Trent said Calabrese eventually grew angry and twice told officers: "My people will get you." The 19-year-old Rees was charged with one count of battery, two counts of resisting law enforcement and one count of illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. Police had filed a preliminary charge of felony battery on a police officer, which would have required him to stay in jail until being arraigned before a judge. Trent said Rees registered 0.11 percent on a blood-alcohol test. Rees was released on a 250 cash bond late Thursday afternoon. Prosecutors said they were still reviewing the preliminary misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct against Calabrese and would make a charging decision on Friday. He was released on 150 bond. Rees was among about five people who jumped a backyard fence and ran after officers arrived to break up a party several blocks from campus about 12:30 a.m. following the last day of Notre Dame's spring semester classes, Trent said. The affidavit says Stec chased Rees, continually saying he was a police officer and continually telling him to stop, but Rees refused. When he ran out into the street, a passing taxi driver heard Stec ordering Rees to stop and maneuvered his car to block Rees' path, the affidavit said. When Stec caught up with Rees, the quarterback "used his right knee to hit Officer Stec in the lower chest area, knocking the wind out of him, making it difficult to breath," the affidavit says. Coach Brian Kelly said he was aware of the incident. "I am of course very concerned given the nature of the allegations, but I am still gathering information. I'll withhold judgment until I can collect all the facts and speak with both Carlo and Tommy," he said. Trent said police arrested the 21-year-old Calabrese after he became angry when it became clear Rees was being arrested. Trent said Calabrese asked police, "Why aren't you a Notre Dame supporter," and "Why are you doing this to my teammate," before eventually uttering his warning. "I have no idea what that means but it's obviously some sort of threat," Trent said. Trent said some people in the crowd pulled Calabrese back into the yard away from the officers. Trent said Calabrese repeated the threat several minutes later and started trying to push through the people who were trying to restrain him. That's when he was arrested, Trent said. 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. Rees, who is from Lake Forest, Ill., started 12 of 13 games as the Irish went 8-5 last season after starting four games as a freshman in the 2010 season. He was among four players competing during Notre Dame's spring practices for the starting quarterback spot this coming season. "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." Brown said the university would have no further comment Trent said no one else at the party was arrested or cited and that none of the others who fled from the party was caught.

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

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USA TODAY

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

Families gather and people talk about things they are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but what are Chicago sports fans happy for now?

Raised expectations on the North Side

Got to be thankful that a “disappointing” season is winning the division and losing in the NLCS. The expectations have skyrocketed, and that’s thanks to a ridiculous nucleus of bats and a steady front office. Not many clubs can say that. Also, though, it’s important to be appreciative of the Wrigley bar stretch. They may charge $8 for a Miller Lite, but it’s always a damn good party.

Javy tags, too. Don't forget Javy tags.

Rebuild sparking hope in White Sox fans

Where to begin? Obviously, be thankful for the plethora of young talent that will soon take over the South Side. Be thankful for Avi Time (while you still can). Be thankful that taking your friends or family to a game won’t cause you to take out a second mortgage. Be thankful for the 2020 World Series and, of course, 2020 MVP Eloy Jimenez. But most importantly, be thankful that Rick Hahn’s phone stays buzzing.

Eddie O back in the booth for the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are having a rough start to the season, but at least Eddie Olczyk is back in the booth. The longtime Blackhawks broadcaster returned to the booth on Oct. 18 after missing time while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer.

With some of the key names from the Blackhawks’ title runs either leaving or being unable to play this season (in the case of Marian Hossa), Blackhawks fans are probably thankful to see a familiar face and hear a familiar voice during games.

Lauri Markkanen leading the Bulls rebuild

OK, there’s not much to be thankful for about the current Bulls team. At 3-13, the Bulls are tied for the fewest wins in the NBA (maybe in the long-term that’s something to be thankful for as well). However, Zach LaVine’s pending debut after his eventual return from injury should help create some excitement.

The thing Bulls fans really should be thankful for this year is the play of rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 20-year-old leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game) while shooting at a high percentage (34.2 percent on threes and 50.6 percent on twos). It’s only the beginning of the Bulls’ rebuild, but Markkanen is a good start.

Mitchapalooza

If a few things broke the Bears’ way, Chicagoans could have been grateful that the team was finally out of the cellar. Instead, we’ll settle for the fact that there seems to be some building blocks already in place. Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks seem to fit that category. Also, some may be thankful that this is likely John Fox’s last season at the helm.

Fire ending a playoff drought

After finishing dead last in MLS in 2015 and 2016, the Fire were one of the most improved teams in the league in 2017. After posting the third best record in the league, the Fire made a first playoff appearance since 2012.

The playoff run didn’t last long with the Fire losing a play-in game at home, but the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger and the league’s leading goal-scorer, Nemanja Nikolic, helped fill the stadium with six sellouts and gave Fire fans something to cheer for.

With Leonard Floyd going on injured reserve, will the Bears have a pressing need at outside linebacker in 2018?

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With Leonard Floyd going on injured reserve, will the Bears have a pressing need at outside linebacker in 2018?

The Bears placed Leonard Floyd on injured reserve Thursday morning, ending the second-year outside linebacker’s season following a knee injury suffered Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Floyd suffered an MCL and PCL injury and will have surgery in the next week, coach John Fox said, and the Bears do not have a timetable for his recovery yet. But that Floyd didn't suffer damage to his ACL is potentially good news for Floyd's recovery timetable. 

Still, with Floyd on injured reserve and out for the season, the Bears’ current outside linebacker depth chart consists of two veterans (Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho) and two practice squad signees (Isaiah Irving and Howard Jones). These final six games of the 2017 season could serve as auditions for all four players for roles on the 2018 Bears. 

If every team needs at least three good pass rushers, the Bears can count on Akiem Hicks and Floyd for 2018, provided Floyd comes back healthy. But who’s the third?

The Bears could save about $7.5 million in cap space if they release McPhee in 2018; if they were to cut ties with Willie Young, who’s on injured reserve right now as well, it would provide $4.5 million in cap relief. McPhee will be 29 in December, while Young will turn 33 next September. 

The Bears won’t necessarily need the cap relief next year, and could certainly decide to keep both players, who’ve shown they’re still productive when healthy. But even if both players are back, the Bears may need to add another outside linebacker via free agency of the draft — remember, the team could’ve began the season with Floyd, Young, McPhee, Acho and Lamarr Houston as their outside linebackers; an injury Houston suffered in the fourth preseason game ended his time in Chicago. 

Needs at wide receiver and cornerback are pressing, but outside linebacker may need to be in that same conversation. If the Bears have a top-10 pick for the fourth consecutive year, plus some cap space, they perhaps could have the ability to address all three needs in March and April. 

That may be looking a little too far into the future, though. The best-case for the Bears is McPhee finishes the season strong and Irving and/or Jones shows something in the opportunities they receive in these final six games (Jones, for what it’s worth, had five sacks as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015). But the worst-case — and perhaps the most realistic — is that the Bears go into the offseason needing to fill at least one pass-rushing spot.