Ray Graham, 2 Other Panthers Charged with Simple Assault and Conspiracy

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIINovember 2, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Ray Graham #1 of the Pittsburgh Panthers stiff arms Antone Exum #1 of the Virginia Tech Hokies during the game on September 15, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

University of Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham has been charged with simple assault and conspiracy after an October 21 incident involving two of his Panther teammates and three other college students.

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Graham and teammates Devin Street and Lafayette Pitts are due to appear in Pittsburgh Municipal Court on January 9 for a preliminary hearing on the charges.


UPDATE: November 2, 12 PM ET by Sam Westmoreland

As of now, it would seem that Graham and his teammates have not been suspended for Saturday's clash with Notre Dame, which isn't surprising. USA Today's Dan Wolkien reported that the team hasn't punished the players as of yet. 

Pitt issues statement saying three players charged with simple assualt for Oct. 21 incident will remain active "while we gain more clarity."

— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 2, 2012

Until the team gets more information on the incident, and what the players actually did, it doesn't make sense to suspend them. Given that the game is tomorrow, don't be surprised to see the three players take the field against the Irish. 

---------END UPDATE-------------


Pittsburgh student Karl Olsheski filed the original complaint that said that Graham and his teammates threatened him, Diane Olsheski and Samantha Mitchell on an Oakland neighborhood sidewalk.

The report describes what happened during the unpleasant encounter:

Karl Olsheski told police that Graham confronted him by saying, "What's up?" along with a racial slur. Olsheski said he tried to walk away but that Graham and Street blocked his way and Pitts kept him from retreating.

Olsheski told police that he was then struck in the head by Street.

The two women then described what happened more thoroughly at the city police station.

Graham leads the Panthers with 622 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, including a season-best 109 yards on 19 carries and two scores in Pitt's most recent contest against Temple.

The senior's yards per carry are down from his previous three collegiate years, but Graham has displayed an improved ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, snagging 22 receptions for an 11-yard average and two TDs.

His loss would be a huge blow to the Panther offense, which heavily relies on Graham as the catalyst.

It remains to be seen what kind of disciplinary action will be taken by the NCAA or Panthers head coach Paul Chryst. Saturday's matchup with Notre Dame will definitely require the services of two of the offense's marquee players for Pitt to have a chance at pulling the upset in South Bend.