There are a lot of things running through Charleston Hughes’ mind right now.
The embarrassment of his DUI arrest and his impending court appearance being chief among them.
“I hold myself to a high standard,” the Roughrider defensive end said Tuesday afternoon after a full practice with his team. “You’re supposed to really be a role model for people out there and people that are watching you so when I look back, it’s really embarrassing.”
Hughes was charged with impaired driving and refusing a breathalyzer in the early morning hours of Oct. 11. Police allegedly found Hughes unresponsive behind the wheel of a vehicle pulled over on Regina’s Ring Road.
News came out the following week and a contrite Hughes apologized to the organization and the fans. In response to the charge, the Roughrider brass made the decision to suspend him from the game against Calgary. He was also charged the maximum fine allowed under the CFL’s collective bargaining agreement.
Extra difficult for Hughes was that the game he had to sit for was one he had been looking forward to for a while. Hughes spent a decade as a Calgary Stampeder before being traded in the offseason. He was looking forward to a homecoming of sorts on Oct. 20.
“I had a lot of my friends, family, fans really prepared for me to come back to Calgary and display my talent and unfortunately that didn’t’ happen. I did apologize to everybody on social media, to all my friends, family and my fans, so it’s good.”
There is still some question on whether Hughes will suit up for the game against the Lions on Saturday. Hughes said he isn’t aware if he’ll play or not but is preparing as if he is.
Head coach Chris Jones made it sound like it was likely.
“He should play. We’re moving forward, it’s an unfortunate event but we can’t just sit there and continue to pound away at it,” he said. “It’s one of those things anytime something negative happens we have to move forward at some point, so that’s what our plan is.”
For Hughes, he’s trying to stay focused on football to keep his mind off of some of the more weighty things in front of him.
“I think about everything right now,” he admitted. “I’m being hit with a lot. I’ve got seven cameras and like eight microphones in my face right now so you really got to focus in and keep your mind in the right place. I got a lot of people supporting me right now and that’s the most important part.”
And as for if he thinks he should play this week?
“That’s out of my power, out of my control so all I can really do is prepare to play.”