The Saskatchewan Roughriders say they are not ready to hang Kory Sheets out to dry — but they are not ignoring an off-field controversy, either.
The star running back is being closely monitored after an off-season incident in Florida, team officials say.
Sheets had been charged with battery domestic violence in January, but the charge was recently dropped after Sheets finished a domestic violence program.
After a mug shot of Sheets appeared online this week, media outlets in Saskatchewan reported on the incident.
"This is something that I am not proud of," Sheets told reporters following a team practice Tuesday. "I am really embarrassed that it happened and I allowed myself to be put into a situation that wouldn't be beneficial to the team and myself."
Brendan Taman, the general manager of the Canadian Football League team, said the team has talked to Sheets about it.
"His conduct is under the microscope as we all know, and it will continue to be," Taman said.
"That's not what we want to be all about and our players are not going to be able to do that. Kory knows that and ... he knows he's on his last strike with us."
The incident has raised questions about the team's much-publicized code of conduct, introduced in 2007 and requiring players to "obey the law, act with honesty and integrity, respect others and take responsibility for their actions."
TSN sports journalist Dave Naylor says the code does not require the team to fire athletes over misconduct, it only says they "can" do so.
"What the code of conduct really does is makes it clear to the players on the team what the expectations are of their behaviour," he said.
But the Riders are a special case, he said.
How players conduct themselves in their personal lives is a bigger issue in a relatively small city like Regina because of how visible the players are in the community, he said.
Sheets was also asked about photos that were circulating, online, where he posed with various firearms.
He said the images were taken during as a part of a modeling session and, after he reviewed them, he did not want the pictures released.
"I didn't want those released," he said. "Somebody stole them and released them."