A couple days before playing at Notre Dame, Pitt's football team had to deal with a pretty serious distraction involving three key players.
Three players, including leading rusher Ray Graham and leading receiver Devin Street, were charged with assault and conspiracy on Thursday night stemming from an incident on Oct. 21, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. A man says Graham, Street and starting cornerback Lafayette Pitts surrounded him, and then Street punched him in the head.
The report said the players weren't arrested but will receive a summons telling them to report to court Jan. 9 for a preliminary hearing.
The man who accused Street of punching him said he was walking with two women when Graham approached him and said "What's up?" and added a racial slur. The man, Karl Olsheski, tried to leave, but he says the players surrounded him and Street punched him in the left side of the head. Olsheski refused medical treatment and didn't want to file a report but wanted the police to stop the man who punched him, the Post-Gazette said.
There has been no word yet on the players' status on the Pitt team for this weekend and beyond. Graham leads the team with 622 rushing yards, Street leads the team with 695 receiving yards and Pitts, a starter in every game this year at cornerback, has 21 tackles.
UPDATE: Pitt has released a statement on the issue, although it didn't name the three players in the release:
"The University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department was recently made aware of a police report relating to an incident allegedly involving three of our football student-athletes on October 21. Those individuals have denied any involvement with the situation and have offered to speak with authorities, although to date they have not been questioned or received any court documents. We take matters of player discipline very seriously and will continue to cooperate with any investigation. 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."
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