Clarett lawyers object to Woody Hayes' son as judge in tailback's case

Updated: October 2, 2003, 8:55 PM ET

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maurice Clarett's lawyers have asked that the son of former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes be disqualified as the judge in a case accusing the suspended running back of lying to police about items stolen from a car.

In a response to an affidavit of disqualification, Franklin County Municipal Judge Steven B. Hayes said he should be allowed to hear the misdemeanor case.

"I know of no reason, and can think of no reason, why I couldn't be a fair and impartial jurist in this case," Hayes said in a letter Tuesday to Common Pleas Judge David W. Fais.

Clarett's lawyers filed their request for Hayes' removal on Sept. 24. Cases are assigned to judges at random.

Friday's pretrial hearing in the case has been postponed and rescheduled for Oct. 20, the city attorney's office said Thursday.

Messages requesting comment were left Thursday night for Clarett lawyers Percy Squire and Scott Schiff.

Clarett has pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor falsification charge, which has a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

He is charged with filing an exaggerated theft report with campus police in April after a dealership's car he was borrowing was broken into. The police report said cash and stereo equipment worth thousands of dollars was taken.

The report was among factors that led to investigations by the NCAA and Ohio State. The university suspended Clarett for the season for accepting money from a family friend and for lying about it to investigators.

Clarett set Ohio State freshman records with 1,237 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns last season as the Buckeyes won the national championship for the first time in 34 years.

While Woody Hayes was Ohio State's coach from 1951 to 1978, the Buckeyes won two Associated Press national titles, 13 Big Ten Conference crowns and 205 games.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index