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UCLA offensive lineman Thomas Cole retires, shares mental-health issues

Aug 28, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; A general overall view of the  Rose Bowl facade prior to the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors . Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA offensive lineman Thomas Cole announced his retirement from football because of mental-health struggles.

A redshirt freshman, Cole shared in a Twitter post on Saturday that he attempted suicide early this year. He said he has been away from the Bruins’ facility the past six months.

“At first I was regretful that I survived my attempt, but thankfully due to the people at the UCLA hospital, Paradigm residential treatment, and my therapist Meg, I have come to a much brighter outlook for my own future,” he wrote.

“After many months of thorough consideration I have come to the conclusion that football is not conducive for my mental health, and there is more to my life than the game of football.”

Cole, who is from San Luis Obispo on California’s central coast, was a three-star recruit in the Class of 2021 but never saw game action for UCLA.

“I will forever cheer on the Bruins and wish the football program nothing but success,” he said. “Everyone I interacted with at UCLA, from coaches to teachers, tutors and more thank you so much! You all have had a great impact in my life. For all of those who may be struggling, you are not alone and you are loved. It is ok to ask for help. Thank you to my family for being so loving during this process of learning to live again.”

In June, UCLA fifth-year defensive back Martell Irby said he was retiring from football, also citing mental health.

–Field Level Media