Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich was fired with cause after refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine as required for all state employees, the school announced Monday night.
Four assistant coaches who also did not comply with the state mandate were fired as well. Washington State's athletic director, Pat Chun, told reporters "every employee at Washington State University understood what had to be done to be within full compliance of the governor's proclamation," and the football players are "the biggest loser" in the situation. The program is "hurting," Chun added, and "our WSU community is fractured."
Washington State President Kirk Schulz said if not for COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates, "we would not be here today in an in-person setting," and vaccine orders work. The state mandate was announced in August, and that month, Rolovich, 42, said he would go along with it. Instead, he applied for a religious exemption in an attempt to avoid getting vaccinated ahead of Monday's deadline, Sports Illustrated reports.