Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich revealed Wednesday that he has chosen not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and he will not be present at the Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles next week.
Rolovich posted on his Twitter account, “As the Pac-12 Conference has required that all in-person participants at next week’s Pac-12 Football Media Day be fully vaccinated, I will participate remotely and look forward to talking about our football team and the incredible young men in our program.
“I have elected not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for reasons which will remain private. While I have made my own decision, I respect that every individual — including our coaches, staff and student-athletes — can make his or her own decision regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. I will not comment further on my decision.”
Washington State University requires employees and students to be vaccinated in order to be on campus, but exemptions can be granted for religious, personal or medical reasons. It was unknown if Rolovich received an exemption.
Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement, “Coach Rolovich and I have has multiple conversations regarding his decision not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. While WSU has a vaccination mandate, there are policies and procedures for employees to follow who are not vaccinated.
“As a department, we will continue to educate our student-athletes, staff and coaches on the benefits of vaccinations and do all that we can to protect the health and safety of those in our charge.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee weighed in on the topic, encouraging Rolovich to get vaccinated.
“Has he been suffering from misinformation? … Maybe we will give him a call and find out,” Inslee said, according to KHQ-TV in Spokane, Wash.
Running back Max Borghi and linebacker Jahad Woods will be in-person representative of the Cougars at Pac-12 media day on Tuesday, according to the Seattle Times.
Washington State went 1-3 in the abbreviated 2020 season, its first with Rolovich as head coach. The 42-year-old California native previously coached Hawaii to a 28-27 record from 2016-19.