The Covid-19 pandemic continues to troll the sports world. The Washington State Cougars football team felt the punch of the pandemic after head football coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches lost their jobs because they opted not to take the vaccine that would innoculate themselves, the school announced Oct. 18 in a released statement.
“This is a disheartening day for our football program,” Washington State Director of Athletics Pat Chun said. “Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team. The leadership on our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness and resiliency and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward.”
An emergency proclamation by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee states that any employee hired by the state cannot work past Oct. 18 if they were not fully vaccinated. Those employees needed to have their final dose of the vaccine taken no later than Oct. 4 in order to be in compliance with the governor’s orders.
And since Washington State University is a state school and not a private university, Rolovich and several members of his staff got the boot. Washington State President Kirk Schulz said the university is taking the mandate seriously.
Check out the postgame notes and top social media posts from the 8th straight win over Oregon State!https://t.co/J2UXuI4Zt6#GoCougs | #BackHome pic.twitter.com/CCkrsbTImu— Washington State Football (@WSUCougarFB) October 10, 2021
“While much has been made of the relatively small number of university employees who are not complying with the Governor’s mandate, we are immensely gratified that nearly 90 percent of WSU employees and 97 percent of our students are now vaccinated,” Schulz said in a released statement.
Schulz continued, “WSU students, faculty, and staff understand the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing masks so that we can safely return to in-person learning and activities. I am proud of all those members of our community who have set the example and taken the steps to protect not just themselves, but their fellow Cougs.”
Besides Rolovich, assistant coaches Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Mark Weber, and Craig Stutzmann were terminated from their positions on the football team. Part of Gov. Inslee’s proclamation reads: “Any State Agency from permitting any Worker to engage in work for the agency after October 18, 2021, if the Worker has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provided proof thereof to the agency.”
Marty Dickinson, who is chair of the Washington State Board of Regents, said the university is working to stay in compliance with the governor’s orders.
“Experience is showing that vaccine mandates help motivate people to complete the vaccination process,” Dickinson said. “WSU has worked diligently to ensure the health and safety of our students, facility, staff and communities, as seen in our outstanding vaccination rates. WSU leadership takes Governor Inslee’s mandate policy seriously and we are committed to complying.”
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, MLB, racial and social justice, civil rights, and HBCUs. Dennis earned a journalism degree from “The Mecca” aka Howard University. “I write on what I am passionate about.”