PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University head football coach Nick Rolovich is trying to get a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to his mentor.
USA Today's Brent Schrotenboer spoke with veteran coach June Jones, who said he pleaded with Rolovich to get the vaccine. Jones coached a quarterback Rolovich when he played for University of Hawaii in 2000 and 2001.
All Washington state employees are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18; if they do not, they will likely lose their job. Right now, Rolovich is awaiting approval of a religious exemption—though not even this is bulletproof against being fired.
Jones said he had "six or seven conversations" with Rolovich over the last two months, advising him to get vaccinated. He may be against it, Jones said, but there is much more at stake, like WSU’s credibility and the lives of other coaches and families.
Rolovich has come under intense scrutiny regarding his vaccine status, and the WSU coach has been equally tight-lipped about it since he announced he would opt out of the vaccine back in July. He is the only head coach in major college football to announce he would not get vaccinated.
Rolovich is in his second season with the Cougs, and if he is not vaccinated it could very well be his last.
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