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Sports >  WSU football

One month after phone call surfaced between Nick Rolovich and Kassidy Woods, Washington State WR enters transfer portal

UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 7, 2020

Washington State Cougars wide receiver Kassidy Woods (84) celebrates with wide receiver Easop Winston (8) after scoring during WSU’s Crimson and Grey Scrimmage on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars wide receiver Kassidy Woods (84) celebrates with wide receiver Easop Winston (8) after scoring during WSU’s Crimson and Grey Scrimmage on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Approximately one month after a controversial phone call between Nick Rolovich and Kassidy Woods leaked to members of the media, the Washington State wide receiver has indicated he plans to finish his college football career somewhere other than Pullman.

According to 247Sports.com, Woods, a redshirt sophomore, entered the transfer portal Monday, becoming the fourth WSU receiver to make that decision in a span of just three weeks. The Cougars have now lost Woods, fellow redshirt sophomore Rodrick Fisher, senior Tay Martin and freshman Mike Pettway to the portal since Aug. 18.

Seeing Woods’ name in the portal doesn’t come as a great surprise one month after he was in the middle of an incident with Rolovich, WSU’s first-year coach, that drew national headlines.

Because of a preexisting medical condition, Woods chose to opt out of the 2020 season, fearing he might contract COVID-19 while traveling on the road with the Cougars. Woods and two other WSU teammates, Dallas Hobbs and Patrick Nunn, all indicated to The Spokesman-Review COVID-19 testing protocols had been different around the conference – something that gave Woods anxiety as the fall season neared.

At the time, Woods was also passionate about the #Pac12Unity player movement led by Hobbs and other athletes around the conference – primarily football players – that sought to improve COVID-19 safety measures, fight against racial injustice and push for student-athlete compensation.

When Woods called to inform Rolovich he planned to opt out of the 2020 season, which was ultimately postponed, he was told by the coach “If you say, ‘I’m opting out because of COVID and health and safety, I’m good, but this group is going to change I guess how things go in the future for everybody. At least at our school. So just think about that.

“If it’s about getting paid and dot, dot, dot, fight racial injustice and that stuff, then there’s two sides here. I’m good with sickle cell and the COVID, but this group is going to be at a different level as far as how we’re going to kind of move forward in the future, I think. Does that make sense?”

Audio of the phone call was released to the S-R and other media outlets across the country.

In a statement released by WSU the following day, Rolovich said, “Without knowing the concerns of the group, I regret that my words cautioning Kassidy have become construed as opposition. I’m proud of our players and all the Pac-12 student-athletes for using their platform, especially for matters they are passionate about.”

Woods, who still hoped to work out and practice with the team in Pullman, was told to clear out his locker and was removed from a group text message chat. The school confirmed Woods’ scholarship would not be revoked, but because of his health concerns and prior condition, WSU could not let him participate in football-related activities.

At the time, Woods, Nunn and Hobbs all indicated their future with WSU was uncertain. Neither Nunn or Hobbs has entered his name in the transfer portal at this point.

Woods caught six passes for 58 yards as a redshirt freshman, primarily playing at the “Y” receiver spot behind Renard Bell. The Addison, Texas, native moved to inside receiver in 2019, but there could’ve been opportunity for the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Woods to play on the outside as a redshirt sophomore, with the departures of Dezmon Patmon, Easop Winston Jr., Martin and Fisher.

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