SOUTH BEND - Answers came at a deliberate pace. Thoughtful.
Carlo Calabrese picked at the white tape that made his hand ready for battle. Tougher the question, the harder he tugged.
Saturday was "face the music" day for Calabrese and Tommy Rees.
The two Notre Dame football players had been off limits to the media since their run-in with the South Bend Police last May.
Police were called to a loud off-campus party, just before the end of the school year.
Stemming from the confusion that ensued, Rees — a 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior quarterback — was ultimately charged with misdemeanors of resisting arrest and underage consumption of alcohol. After pleading guilty, Rees was sentenced to community service and probation.
Calabrese, a 6-1, 245-pound senior linebacker, was charged with intimidation, a misdemeanor, when he threatened a police officer by saying, "My people will get you." He entered a pre-trial diversion program which entails community service and probation.
Both were suspended by Irish coach Brian Kelly for the season opener.
This day had to come sooner or later. Both faced the inevitable like men. Nowhere to hide.
What did they learn?
"I learned to respect people," Calabrese said. "Listen to others.
"With coach Kelly making that decision (on the suspension), it was a big learning (opportunity)."
The tape took another yank or two.
"Any regrets?" he said. "Of course I have regrets. I shouldn't have put myself in that situation.
I regret my decision to have had to put (Kelly) in that situation to have to make that decision.
I shouldn't have put my team in that situation."
Calabrese was the more emotional of the two. Rees, though, may have lost more.
Calabrese is still taking snaps with Notre Dame's No. 2 defense, and should be ready to fit in when the dark cloud is lifted and he's cleared to play against Purdue.
Not so with Rees.
Though he has started 16 games over the last two seasons, albeit struggling in many of them, Rees is a forgotten issue in terms of the quarterback derby. Everett Golson and Andrew Hendrix divide most of the practice snaps. Leftovers belong to freshman Gunner Kiel.