WASHINGTON State University has fired football coach Nick Rolovich and four assistants over their refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Rolovich, Washington State’s highest-paid employee who applied for a religious exemption from the vaccine earlier this month, is expected to be replaced with defensive coordinator Jake Dickert as the interim coach, a source told ESPN.
ESPN reported the news on Monday — the deadline for state employees to become fully vaccinated or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption.
It’s hasn’t been revealed whether Rolovich’s exemption request had been denied or approved, according to the report.
The news outlet also notes that the university hasn’t offered any examples of what can be recognized as a religious exemption.
Rolovich’s firing comes nearly two years after he was hired at Washington State University.
He previously worked as the head coach for the Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors.
According to the New York Times, a Supreme Court judge turned down a request earlier on Monday by hundreds of Washington State Patrol troopers, corrections officers, ferry workers and other public employees.
Their requests were for a temporary injunction to block Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate.
Rolovich’s supervisor, Athletic Director Pat Chun, ultimately made the decision to cut the football coach and assistant coaches.
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It appears Rolovich and the assistant coaches make up the approximate 10 percent of state employees who chose not to get vaccinated.
Earlier this month, a state agency report revealed approximately 90 percent of state employees got vaccinated, according to the New York Times.
Back in July 2021, Rolovich announced he would be attending the athletic Pac-12 conference remotely because of its vaccination policy.
Rolovich, a dad of three who married his college sweetheart, shared the following statement to Twitter on July 21: “I have elected not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for reasons which will remain private.
“While I have made my own decision, I respect that every individual — including our coaches, staff, and student-athletes — can make his or her own decision regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I will not comment further on my decision.”
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