Starting running back Ray Graham of the Pittsburgh Panthers along with wide receiver Devin Street and defensive back Lafayette Pitts have been charged with simple assault and conspiracy in connection to an Oct. 21 incident involving three other students, but will play Saturday against No. 4 Notre Dame.
All three players deny any involvement in the incident.
According to the complaint filed with police, Karl Olsheski, Diana Olsheski, and Samantha Mitchell were walking in Oakland neighborhood of the university, when the three Pitt football players walked into their path from the opposite direction at 12:30 a.m.
Karl Olsheski reported to police that Graham confronted him by saying, “What’s up?” followed by a racial slur. Olsheski said he attempted to walk away but that Street and Graham blocked his way and Pitts kept him from retreating to avoid the confrontation.
After being cornered by the three players, Olsheski said Street hit him one time across the left side of his head.
Graham, Street and Pitts were later recognized by the three students in police photo lineups. The alleged victims did not recognize all three players, but was at least pointed out once. Street was the most obvious, who pointed out by Mitchell after taking a class on vampires together.
The athletes have not been arrested, but a preliminary hearing for the charges has been set for Jan. 9 at the Pittsburgh Municipal Court. They received this information for summonses sent through the mail.
E.J. Borghetti, the school spokesman, released a statement saying the players have offered to speak with police and give their account but have not been questioned or received any court documents on the matter.
“We take matters of player discipline very seriously and will continue to cooperate with any investigation,” Borghetti said. “However, we will not, and hope others will not, rush to judgment on these misdemeanor allegations. All three players will remain active members of our program while we gain more clarity on this situation.”
Graham is the leading rusher for the Panthers’ with 622 years and seven touchdowns. Street is the leading receiver and top kick-return man with 50 catches for 695 yards and four touchdowns.
All three players will allow the legal system to take its’ course, while they attempt to hand the Fighting Irish their first loss of the season Saturday.