UCLA offensive lineman Thomas Cole retires from college football after attempting suicide as a freshman
A soccer player at the University of California, The angel retires from the game after attempting suicide earlier in the year.
Thomas Cole, an offensive lineman in the redshirt freshman, emotionally announced his decision to leave the team Twitter post on Saturday.
The collegiate athlete recounted how he attempted suicide earlier this year and, after months of treatment, concluded “football is not good for my mental health.”
Cole said he’s “forever grateful” for the relationships he’s built on the team and will “always miss the competition and the game of football.”
The four-star recruit’s decision to retire comes just over a month after a defense attorney left the UCLA team citing mental health issues.
UCLA offensive lineman Thomas Cole is retiring from football after attempting suicide earlier this year
Cole told how he attempted suicide earlier this year and, after months of treatment, concluded “football is not conducive to my mental health
Cole has not played or attended spring training during the 2021 season after attempting suicide earlier this year, he revealed.
He shared how his mental health battle and treatment experience led him to announce his retirement and how he now has a “much better outlook” on life.
“I have not been present at the Wasserman facility for the past six months. That’s because I attempted suicide in early 2022,” Cole wrote.
“At first I was unfortunate that I survived my attempt, but thankfully, thanks to the people at UCLA hospital, Paradigm residential treatment, and my therapist Meg, I have a much better perspective on my own future.
He continued: “After many months of careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that football is not conducive to my mental health and there is more to my life than the game of football.”
He announced his decision to leave the team in an emotional Twitter post on Saturday
Cole reiterated that his struggles “didn’t negate” the impact his coaches and teammates left on his life.
He thanked his offensive linemates — Benjamin Roy, Garrett DiGiorgio, Noah Puleali and Taka Mahe — for supporting him and bringing “so much joy and laughter at a time of immense personal suffering.”
“I am eternally grateful for these friendships. I will miss the competition and the soccer game. But most of all I will miss the people it brought into my life,” he said.
Cole, a native of California, ended his statement by promising to continue supporting the Bruins. He also thanked UCLA faculty and staff for their support during his time at the university.
“I will always cheer for the Bruins and wish the football program nothing but success,” he wrote. “Everyone I’ve interacted with at UCLA, from coaches to teachers, tutors and more, thank you so much! You all have had a huge impact on my life.”
He then sent a message of hope to others who may be struggling with mental health issues: “For anyone who may be struggling, you are not alone and you are loved. It’s okay to ask for help.”
“Thank you to my family for being so loving during this life relearning process,” he concluded.
Cole reiterated that his struggles “didn’t negate” the impact his coaches and teammates left on his life. He thanked his fellow offensive linemen for their support and “so much joy and laughter at a time of immense personal suffering.”
“I will always cheer for the Bruins and wish the football program nothing but success,” he wrote. Cole is pictured at Rose Bowl Stadium in September 2021
Cole is pictured with his family during a visit to UCLA in October 2019
Cole committed to UCLA after receiving 21 offers from varsity football programs. The Santa Maria Times reported. Michigan, Virginia and the Northwest had shown great interest in him.
He was selected as a member of the Bruins’ offensive line despite being a dynamic playmaker on the defensive line at San Luis Obispo High School.
During his high school days in 2019, he accumulated 99 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. He was elected to the All-Pac-4 First Team in 2019 and was named to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State First Team in 2019.
Cole was a member of the San Luis Obispo Class of 2021, but according to his UCLA resume, he enrolled at the university in January 2021 and attended Spring Practice.
In his first season with the Bruins, he didn’t see any game action.
Cole’s departure from the team comes just weeks after defender Martell Irby (pictured left in November 2018) resigned from the team due to mental health issues. Irby announced his retirement last month on YouTube (right) via a song he wrote called “This is Goodbye.”
Cole’s departure from the team comes just weeks after defenseman Martell Irby withdrew from the team due to mental health issues.
Irby, who played four seasons with the Bruins, announced his retirement last month in a song he wrote entitled “This is Goodbye.”
“It’s been one hell of a ride, but everything must come to an end,” he captioned his YouTube video. “I will always be grateful to football, it’s just time for me to start the next chapter in my life…”
Irby was involved in a car accident earlier this year, around the time spring training began.
He struggles with battles on the field while also dealing with his emotional health. sports illustrated reported and cited an instance of him venturing through Los Angeles with no destination or means of communication – which worried his teammates and loved ones.
He then traveled home to be with his family and decided he needed to be with those closest to him during this difficult time.
Shortly after visiting family, Irby announced his retirement. He announced that he plans to continue working on his music career and YouTube channel.
If you or a loved one are having suicidal thoughts, you can call or text the National Suicide Hotline at 988 or 1-800-273-8255.