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Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Clifford charged with assault, accused of punching 2 bar employees

ESPN.com news services

Ohio State defensive back Eugene Clifford was arraigned Monday on two counts of misdemeanor assault after an early Friday morning incident in Cincinnati in which he is accused of punching two employees of a sports bar.

Clifford, 20, pleaded not guilty to the two counts, and posted $2,000 bond. A court day was set for July 29.

According to multiple Ohio media reports, Clifford was accused of hitting two bar employees who were trying to break up a fight. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that according to police, Clifford also threatened to get a gun and shoot the employees.

Clifford was arrested at 1:29 a.m. Friday.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was informed about Clifford's arrest, but a school spokeswoman on Monday had no comment regarding Clifford's status with the Buckeyes, the Plain Dealer reported.

Clifford played in four games on special teams last season, his first with the Buckeyes, but in December 2007, he was suspended for violating unspecified team rules and banned from playing in the BCS national championship game against LSU.

Clifford also was suspended from spring practice this year; the Buckeyes would not elaborate on the reason.