It’s over, WSU has fired Nick Rolovich

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.

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

CougCenter’s Brian Floyd also confirmed it as well.

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.

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Editor’s note: This is a developing story and we’ll update it as more information comes in

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