Washington State University (WSU) head football coach Nick Rolovich was sacked from his athletic duties after failing to comply with the school’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. The said mandate aligns with the decree previously issued by Democrat Washington Governor Jay Inslee back in August.
Rolovich’s booting was announced by WSU President Kirk Schultz and university athletic director Pat Chun in a press conference. It was also revealed that apart from the 42-year old head coach, four assistant coaches have been of their duties for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine jabs.
Governor Inslee’s August decree ordered all Washington state employees to be fully vaccinated against the virus by October 18, unless they have a valid medical or religious exemption. WSU immediately urged all its staff and employees to be administered the COVID-19 jabs by October 4.
Moreover, WSU announced that beginning on October 19, all unvaccinated university personnel will not be allowed to engage in their duties. Rolovich already announced in July that “for reasons which will remain private,” he would not get the COVID-19 shots.
In the recent press conference, Chun mentioned that he had been trying to convince Rolovich to change his mind about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. However, the WSU athletic director shared that “he was resolute in his stance.” And while Rolovich requested a religious exemption for the shots on October 9, it was denied two days later.
“I’ve been settled for a long time on it, and I believe it’s going to work out the right way,” the former Cougars head coach said when asked about his request for exemption from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. “I don’t think this is in my hands,” he added.
The athletic director for WSU also pointed out that Rolovich’s dismissal was “for cause” since his contract explicitly stipulated that he should follow specific requirements as head football coach. “Every employee of WSU fully understood what had to be done to comply with the governor’s proclamation,” Chun explained. “The university has been very clear on all the steps that needed to be taken to be eligible to work on October 19.”
Jake Dickert, the defensive coordinator for the team, will take over as the Cougars’ interim coach following Rolovich’s termination.