UCLA OL Thomas Cole announces retirement after suicide attempt

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PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: A UCLA helmet on the sidelines during the college football game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the UCLA Bruins on September 14, 2019, at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Thomas Cole specifically thanked his four fellow UCLA offensive line freshmen. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Editor's note: If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988.

UCLA offensive lineman Thomas Cole announced his retirement from football on Saturday, and in the process revealed he survived a suicide attempt at the beginning of 2022.

In an extended statement posted to his Twitter account, Cole said he had been away from UCLA's Wasserman Football Center for six months and has concluded football is not conducive to his mental health, but still thanked his coaches and teammates for the impact they've had on his life.

Cole's full statement:

I haven't been present at the Wasserman facility for the past six months. This is because at the start of 2022 I made an attempt to take my own life. 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.

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. This does not negate the impact that my teammates and coaches have had on my life. Through thick and thin the freshman offensive line, consisting of Benjamin Roy, Garrett DiGiorgio, Noah Pulealii, and Taka Mahe were there for me. These men brought me so much joy and laughter in a time of immense personal suffering. For these friendships I am forever thankful. I will miss competing and the game of football. But I will mostly miss the people it has brought into my life.

I will forever cheer on the Bruins and wish the football program nothing but success. 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.

Thomas Cole

Cole joined the UCLA football program as a Rivals three-star recruit out of San Luis Obispo in the Class of 2021. He enrolled early for the Bruins that January, but did not see any game action during his true freshman year.

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