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Former WSU coach Rolovich speaks out about firing

Sept. 23, 2022 Updated Fri., Sept. 23, 2022 at 11:18 p.m.

Rolovich  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Rolovich (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

Former Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich said in his first interview since he was fired almost a year ago that he decided not to comply with Washington’s vaccine mandate for state employees because of his Catholic faith and questions he had about the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to ESPN.

WSU fired Rolovich and four other assistant coaches in October for failing to comply with a state mandate to receive the vaccine. The school fired Rolovich for cause, preventing him from receiving the approximately $9 million remaining on his contract. Earlier this year, Rolovich filed a $25 million wrongful termination claim against the school.

WSU fired Rolovich and four assistant coaches last October after they refused to comply with the state mandate to receive the vaccine. Rolovich filed a $25 million tort claim in April against the university, alleging he was wrongfully terminated last year.

Rolovich made the comments in an interview with the conservative news site, The Daily Wire.

“The priest broke it down to me, because he wanted to know why, and I said, ‘This is just how I’m feeling,’ and he says, ‘Well, that’s your conscience talking to you and the Catholic church recognizes your conscience,’ ” Rolovich told The Daily Wire.

He added that as a result of being unvaccinated he couldn’t meet with players.

“ I’m stuck in my office all day. It was really unhealthy for me, but I have no regrets on my decision,” he said in the interview.

According to the interview with Rolovich, WSU athletic director Pat Chun told him he had four options: resign, get vaccinated, get a medical exemption or get a religious exemption.

Rolovich said WSU human resources officials initially approved his religious exemption request, but he accused Chun of writing a letter that led to the his exemption being denied. ESPN reported that Chun and WSU declined a request for comment about Rolovich’s interview.

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