CLAY: Washington State’s football coach has decided that he will not comply with a mandate demanding that he get vaccinated and has quit his job as the head coach of the Washington State Cougars. They play in the Pac-12. This is a really interesting story. Nick Rolovich is the name of the coach. Four of his assistant coaches also refused to get the covid vaccine and are now unemployed as well. The athletic director, Pat Chun, talked about dismissing his head football coach — play cut 6 — over his refusal to get the covid vaccine.
CHUN: It is disheartening to be here today. Our football team is hurting. Our WSU community is fractured. Today will have a lasting impact on the young men, on our team, and the remaining coaches and staff. As a director of athletics and steward of this department, I take full ownership and responsibility for hiring Nick.
In January of 2020, based on all the information we had at the time — including extensive references and conversations with knowledgeable football experts — we believed we found the perfect fit and a long-term solution for Washington State football. Unfortunately, we stand here today having to make a transition. To be at this juncture today is unacceptable on so many levels, and it’s antithetical to the WSU experience our student athletes so richly deserve.
CLAY: Millions of dollars a year.
BUCK: — alongside those who have had decades in either law enforcement or in health care industry. These are people who were taking a stand that is costing them in a lot of ways, financially and otherwise, personally. That’s how strongly they feel about this.
CLAY: Yeah, and I give credit to Rolovich, the coach at Washington State, in the same way that I would Kyrie Irving, Buck, in that we talk a lot, especially in the sports media, about bravery in athletics and standing up for things that you believe in and obviously Colin Kaepernick is a patron saint of sports media. But these guys are actually walking away from millions of dollars based upon what they believe in. It’s pretty incredible.