- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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The son of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz was among three Hawkeyes players arrested early Monday for public intoxication, the latest in a series of off-field problems involving football players at the school.
Center James Ferentz, fullback Tyler Christensen and tight end Zach Derby were cited by the university's department of public safety. According to The Cedar Rapids Gazette, both Ferentz and Derby pleaded not guilty to public intoxication Monday morning and will face trials May 8.
Christensen pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal mischief and public intoxication and paid fines totaling $489.
"It was very disappointing to learn of the behavior of our three players last night," Kirk Ferentz said in a statement. "Short term, all three will be suspended for the remainder of spring practice and they will be expected to fulfill significant community service obligations the next several weekends. Additional action will be determined at a later point and return to the team will be based on additional criteria."
Department of Public Safety associate director Bill Searls told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that Derby and Christensen attempted to pick a fight with an off-duty university police officer at around 2 a.m. Monday. The officer alerted on-duty officers for assistance.
While the officers were talking to Derby and Christensen, James Ferentz reportedly emerged "yelling and screaming" from a nearby parking lot. Police said Ferentz took a breath-test that showed a blood-alcohol content of .160.
This marks the second alcohol-related offense for Ferentz, who was cited for underage alcohol possession in October. Kirk Ferentz suspended James from team activities for the remainder of the season, and James was required to attend counseling sessions and do community service.
None of the three players appeared in any games last season.
Iowa endured a swell of player arrests in 2007 and the first half of 2008. The number declined after Kirk Ferentz hired former player Chigozie Ejiasi as director of player development in September.
But starting defensive end Adrian Clayborn was arrested last month and faces a misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury stemming from a Jan. 20 incident involving a taxi driver in Iowa City. Clayborn pleaded not guilty to the charge and is practicing with the team this spring.
Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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