Jay Graham’s abrupt exit from Alabama football came with warning signs

This story deals with mental health issues. If you or someone you know is struggling, Crisis Text Line offers people in crisis 24/7 free confidential SMS support when they call 741741.

On March 23, 2021, Alabama assistant football coach Jay Graham abruptly resigned to “seek immediate professional help (and) gain a better understanding of mental health,” he posted on Twitter.

And now Graham shares his story in a candid, wide-ranging interview with Knox News about what brought him to this turning point.

Prior to his retirement, Graham went through an episode at the Alabama complex that scared him and confused coach Nick Saban.

“I ran to my office,” Graham said. “My breath catches. I cry at work. Saban won’t like that.”

But there have been red flags scattered throughout Graham’s coaching career, like the time in South Carolina he left an ESPN interview when Erin Andrews asked him about his “feelings.”

[ READ THE FULL STORY: Jay Graham tells all about his mental health: ‘The feeling was … like I was dying’ ]

Then there was a player from Florida State who scratched the surface of Graham’s problems with an educational project on mental health.

The death of his mother, an NCAA inquest in Tennessee, the pressure to recruit elite players, slurs from fans on social media, resentment against coaches who don’t work as hard, and 10 moves in 16 years — it all interweaves in Graham’s Report.

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