Iowa end accused of assaulting cabbie

Updated: March 20, 2009, 1:18 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Iowa junior defensive end Adrian Clayborn has pleaded not guilty to an assault charge stemming from an incident in January involving an Iowa City taxi driver.

Clayborn is accused of assaulting the driver Jan. 18. Iowa City police said Clayborn was caught in a traffic jam and confronted the taxi driver after the man honked his horn at him.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Clayborn turned himself in early Friday morning, and already has been released from jail on his own recognizance.

Clayborn faces a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury, which carries a penalty of up to a year in jail and a $1,500 fine.

"I've been aware of this alleged incident since January and consider it to be a serious situation," Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement. "Based on what I know to this point, I think it is best to let due process run its course before coming to any judgment."

Clayborn started 11 games for the Hawkeyes last fall and had 50 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. He's projected to be a key contributor on a defensive line that loses four-year starters Mitch King and Matt Kroul.

Iowa endured a swell of player arrests in 2007 and the first half of 2008, but the number has declined since last summer. In response to the incidents, Ferentz hired former player Chigozie Ejiasi as director of player development in September.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.