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If Washington State’s Nick Rolovich doesn’t get vaccinated, he’s probably fired

The coach has said he’s chosen not to get a Covid-19 vaccine. But now if he doesn’t he can’t be coaching a public school in his state after new rules implemented today.

Washington St Nick Rolovich via live feed during the Pac-12 Football Media Day on July 27, 2021, at the W Hotel in Hollywood, CA. Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Update Thursday, 1:50 p.m.: It looks like Rolovich will be getting the vaccine after all.


The head football coach of the Washington State Cougars has already made things awkward due to his refusal to get a Covid-19 vaccine. His boss, Cougars AD Pat Chun, has all but publicly asked that he do so. He was forced to handle Pac-12 media days virtually, normally an event which Rolovich has embraced.

But push has finally come to shove, as today Washington governor Jay Inslee has imposed a vaccine mandate on all state employees that interact with children or university students. And that does include coaches and staff of the Washington State football program.

Rolovich in previous statements hasn’t referenced a medical or religious reason for failing to be vaccinated, so if he’s not covered by one of those exemptions, he could be fired without any financial penalty on The Palouse.

Rolovich makes $3 million per season, and has a buyout of $6 million if he’s fired before June 30th, 2022. But if he’s unwilling or unable to fulfill the standards of state employment, it’s likely Wazzu would be able to release him without financial penalty.

If Rolovich decides to get vaccinated, all this of course goes away. But if he doesn’t we could be looking at leadership chaos around the Cougars before the season even starts. WSU opens with Utah State in Pullman on September 4th.