Rolovich had been aiming to get a religious exemption against the Washington state vaccine mandate. But because he did not obtain one by today’s deadline, the university terminated his contract with cause.
Several of Rolovich’s assistants were also let go because they did not receive the vaccine. With five games left in the regular season, the Cougars’ coaching staff has been significantly reshuffled.
The immediate reaction to Rolovich’s dismissal has focused on his personal decision, how much money he gave up and what comes next in terms of possible lawsuits.
As one source put it to me earlier today: “Rolo has been steadfastly ready to get fired over this since Day 1.”
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) October 18, 2021
IDEA: Washington State head coach Gardner Minshew
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) October 18, 2021
Nick Rolovich giving up a $3 million salary and one of the most coveted jobs in his profession so that he can put himself and people around him at heightened risk of dying. Really one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen. All-time bag fumble, medical fumble, reputation fumble
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) October 18, 2021
Nick Rolovich accomplished the unthinkable at WSU: Had a weirder, more tumultuous and polarizing tenure than Mike Leach.
— Darnay Tripp (@DarnayTripp) October 19, 2021
I can confirm @johncanzanobft report that Nick Rolovich is out as the WSU coach, per source.
Jake Dickert is expected to be named the interim coach.
— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) October 18, 2021
There are coaches we cheer for who are womanizers, adulterers, have been caught driving drunk, I could go on and on.
Nick Rolovich got fired for refusing to get a vaccine.
Anyone else see anything absurd about that?
(And yes, I have the vaccine, since I know some will ask)
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) October 18, 2021
I can guarantee this will be one of the more interesting termination lawsuits we will ever see. https://t.co/si1U2Lnkiq
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 18, 2021
The state of Washington has successfully defended 42 legal challenges to its pandemic-related laws and a court recently held that the vaccine mandate was a legitimate use of the Governor's emergency powers. But a lawsuit from Rolovich would be interesting… https://t.co/CQpzxhMJjM
— Gabe Feldman (@SportsLawGuy) October 18, 2021
Rolovich was hired by Washington State in January 2020 after four seasons at Hawaii. He posted a 5-6 record in one-plus seasons in Pullman, going 1-3 in an abbreviated 2020 campaign and 4-3 this year.
Without him, the Cougars will get ready to host BYU this weekend.