Washington State University fires coach Nick Rolovich for refusing COVID-19 vaccine
Washington State has fired football coach Nick Rolovich on Monday
The state vaccine mandate that need all employees need to get vaccinated
Thousands of state employees have until Monday to be vaccinated
After refusing a state mandate to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Washington State has fired football coach Nick Rolovich on Monday, according to US media reports. Washington has a state vaccine mandate that requires all employees need to get vaccinated against the virus.
While the University hasn't yet made an announcement, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press about the developments on condition of anonymity.
Thousands of state employees, including the Cougars' coach, have until Monday to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or face losing their jobs, according to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat. Rolovich filed a religious exemption request.
Rolovich, 42, was the highest-paid state employee, earning more than $3 million per year under a contract that extends until 2025. He had stated that he will not be vaccinated but did not elaborate on why. He was the Pac-12's only non-vaccinated head coach, and he wore a mask during games.
After Mike Leach resigned for Mississippi State two years ago, Rolovich was hired from Hawaii and guided Washington State to a 1-3 Pac-12 record in a 2020 season that was cut short because of the pandemic. Washington State is 4-3 this season after winning its previous three games, including a 34-31 victory against Stanford last Saturday.
Rolovich said in July that he would not get immunised and, as a result, would be unable to attend Pac-12 media day in person.
He stated in mid-August that he intended to comply with the new rule requiring vaccines for all state employees, but he refused to elaborate.
Rolovich announced on October 9 that he was seeking a religious exception to the law after refusing to divulge his plans for weeks. He has neglected to share details of his religious views.
In his exemption application, Rolovich had to show that he had a true religious conviction that precluded him from getting vaccinated. The request was presented to a committee that examined the petitions without knowing the petitioners' names.
With inputs from the Associated Press