Ohio State offensive lineman Harry Miller says he is “medically retiring” from football, citing struggles he has faced with mental health.
Miller says he attempted to take his own life before the start of last season and praised Ohio State head coach Ryan Day for the immediate support he provided when the offensive linesman opened up to him about it.
“I would not usually share such information,” Miller wrote in a two-page Twitter letter. “However, because I have played football, I am no longer afforded the privilege of privacy, so I will share my story briefly before more articles continue to ask, ‘What is wrong with Harry Miller.’
“That is a good question. It is a good enough question for me not to know the answer, though I have asked it often.”
Miller says Day put him in contact with two doctors who provided him with support. After a few weeks, Miller tried playing football again with “scars on my wrists and throat.”
“Maybe the scars were hard to see with with my wrists taped up,” he continued. “Maybe it was hard to see the scars through the bright colors of the television. Maybe the scars were hard to hear through all the talk shows and interviews. They are hard to see, and they are easy to hide, but they sure do hurt.
“There was a dead man on the television set, but nobody knew it.”
Miller says at the time he “would rather be dead than a coward” and feared reaching out because of the reaction he had seen to others in his position.
“I had seen the age-old adage of how our generation was softening by the second, but I can tell you my skin was tough,” he says. “It had to be. But it was not tougher than the sharp metal of my box cutter.
“And I saw how easy it was for people to dismiss others by talking about how they were just a dumb, college kid who didn’t know anything.
“But luckily, I am a student in the College of Engineering, and I have a 4.0 and whatever accolades you might require, so maybe if somebody’s hurt can be taken seriously for once, it can be mine.”
Miller, a former five-star recruit, says Day is helping him find a different way to help others in the Ohio State football program who might also be experience mental health struggles, and expressed his hope that “athletic departments around the country do the same.”
“If not for him [Day] and the staff, my words would not be a reflection,” Miller says. “They would be evidence in a post-mortem.”