"I can't speak for any other guys, but protecting my reputation was and still is among the most important things in the world to me," said Mills. "Whether you use the word image or reputation, it only takes one thing, whether it is true or not, to always put doubt in somebody's mind.
"It's always something I have been really care of. A lot of times a decision I will make is based on how it might look to other people. My reputation is one of the most valuable things in the world to me."
Mills, a member of UK's 1998 national championship team, now has his own ministry. He often travels across the state sharing his faith.
I asked Mills how careful he was to protect his reputation and not do something that might jeopardize his image in light of the reported rape at Wildcat Lodge that could involve senior Chuck Hayes based on what his own agent has told numerous media outlets. Mills had no comment on that situation, but rather shared how easy it is for any UK athlete to succumb to numerous temptations.
"The Bible speaks of never causing your brother to stumble. Something might be okay for you to do, but your never want to make your brother or sister question your integrity," Mills said. "I never expect myself to be perfect, but I do strive to be as close as possible. I will fail and make mistakes, but there's got to be an attempt not to fail. I'm afraid there are lot of guys at UK that don't always understand that.
"I wish I could communicate to every single guy on the UK team — and I have to some degree but I don't know whether they listen and believed it or not — how important it is to keep your nose clean and always be on your best behavior. If you do, this community will bend over backwards to take care of you because they love their UK players. Talk to any ex-UK player and he'll tell you the same thing. The reason some of us have jobs we do today is because we are ex-UK players.
"But you not only have to keep your nose clean, but you also cannot be put in position where someone else can dirty it. Our culture is all about what is perceived. Hardly ever is it about the truth. That's why you have to be so careful as a UK player not to be in situations where something could happen or someone could do something to ruin that reputation which is so valuable to you."