Nick Rolovich’s decision to not get a COVID-19 vaccine has cost him his job. While ultimately it was the governor’s mandate that forced this decision to occur midseason, this was the obvious conclusion to the news cycle from hell that Rolovich had created back in July.
WSU head football coach Rolovich is out today for his refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccination. Situation could get pretty ugly.— Odds and Ends with Mike Tice (@miketice86) October 18, 2021
Update – 4:35 PM on 10/18
The Oregonian’s Jon Canzano confirmed Mike Tice’s reporting later on Monday. Canzano also mentioned the other unvaccinated coaches have been terminated as well — list unknown at this time
Nick Rolovich has been terminated by Washington State, per a university source.— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) October 18, 2021
Terminated for cause, along with the other unvaccinated WSU assistants.
CougCenter’s Brian Floyd also confirmed it as well.
Rolovich is being informed he’s been terminated for cause— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) October 18, 2021
Original story continues below
There is allegedly a team meeting at 5:30 tonight so that athletic director Pat Chun can address the team. But this is a move that was long over due after he did an end around on the athletic department’s communication to release his own statement on Twitter. His refusal to outright address the reason for his refusal to get the vaccine, a religious exemption (which he himself had undermined in the days following his statement), kept this story in the news cycle far longer than it needed to be.
At the root of the matter is this, Rolovich was fired for not being able to do his duties without the vaccine and for workplace insubordination. This was the only outcome available to Chun.
Am I happy he’s gone? No I’m not…I’m absolutely relieved that this saga is over. For a hire that seemed like such a home run out of the gate, and was beginning to see incremental improvements on the field, this is a horrific end. The university could not afford to have its have the highest paid (and most visible) employee refuse to get a vaccine that will help bring a global pandemic under control; especially since it’s a tier one research institution with a relatively new med school and a well respected nursing program.
It was an untenable position, and the governor’s mandate just gave WSU an early out.
Update – 5:40 PM on 10/18/21
The university has officially released its statement.
Washington State’s official announcement on firing coach Nick Rolovich & 4 assistants for not getting vaccinated pic.twitter.com/jIHWOnoFlU— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) October 19, 2021
Our emergency podcast is out
Editor’s note: This is a developing story and we’ll update it as more information comes in