On Monday, Nick Rolovich and four other Washington State University assistants were ousted from the team for refusing to follow the COVID-19 guidelines set in place by Washington governor, Jay Inslee. By October 18th state employees who refused to get the vaccine would be terminated from their job, including football staff members that were in the middle of a three-game winning streak.
“This is a disheartening day for our football program,” Pat Chun opened in a statement regarding the incident, according to CNN. He went on to add, “Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness, and resiliency and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward.”
While the installation of vaccinee mandates is to contain the spread of COVID-19, Rolovich has remained adamant since July that he will not be receiving the vaccine. He took to social media to announce months back, “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,” he continued.
With Nick Rolovich out of the picture, what does this mean for the future of WSU athletic?
Needless to say, the loss of Rolovich as the WSU head coach is devastating, but the school lost nearly half of its coaching staff as well. At such a crucial point in the season, this loss can mean certain death for a football team. As of right now, the future is uncertain for WSU, as they don’t have a handful of highly experienced replacements ready to coach.
Rolovich also seems to be taking his defeat in stride, at peace with the outcome of his career. After his last game, he discussed in a post-game interview, implying that he’d rather risk his job than get the vaccine, “I don’t think this is in my hands. I’ve been settled for a long time on it. I believe it’s going to work out the right way… I guess then I’ve got to move on.”
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