With the 2015 NFL Draft beginning in three days, most prospects are doing whatever they can to stay out of the headlines. However, Missouri defensive end Shane Ray was cited Monday for possession of marijuana, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's website.
The police report states Ray was picked at 6:07 a.m. local time in Cooper County, Mo. He was carrying 35 grams or less of marijuana at the time of the citation. The report further states that Ray failed to "drive in the right lane of the highway with two or more lanes." Ray has since been released from police custody.
Though Ray has not yet been drafted, the citation could enter him into Stage 1 of the NFL's substance abuse program. A subsequent violation would push him into Stage 2, at which point the league could suspend him for four games in addition to a fine. The NFL has previously imposed punishment on players who violated policy prior to entering the league, including Terrelle Pryor's five-game suspension for accepting free tattoos while at Ohio State.
Ray issued a statement following the incident and apologized to his mother, fans and prospective NFL teams, and said he will take the steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.
"I’d like to apologize to my Mother, Fans and prospective NFL teams for my poor judgement Monday morning . I am embarrassed and realize there are consequences for my actions. I was not under the influence nor impaired, therefore I was not detained. Fortunately, Monday's incident only resulted in a citation. I will make better choices in the future. It is imperative that I continue to strive to better myself. My future NFL career has been something I have always dreamed about and is very important to me. I commit that my actions will represent that. There are no excuses here and I will take the necessary steps to ensure this will not happen again. I will not jeopardize my ability to have a positive impact on and off the field moving forward."
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