Washington State head football coach Nick Rolovich said Tuesday that he is disappointed his decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine has caused a distraction for his team.
“I don’t mean to cause any heartache to this university or to this athletic department or this state,” Rolovich said via Zoom during Pac-12 media day, according to the Yakima Herald. “As I go forward, I plan on adhering to all policies that are implemented for the unvaccinated at the state, local, campus and conference level. I’m not against vaccinations. I wholeheartedly support those who choose to be vaccinated, including our players, staff, and coaches.”
Rolovich was the only Pac-12 coach not at the W Hollywood Hotel for media day, as proof of vaccination was required for attendance at the events. He said that the athletic department has respected his decision to not get vaccinated.
As Washington State is one of nine Pac-12 schools that require students and staff to be vaccinated for the upcoming academic year, Rolovich said that 75 percent of his team has had at least one shot.
Should Washington State grant an exception for Rolovich, he would have to wear a mask on campus at all times.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has asked to speak with Washington State president Kirk Schulz about Rolovich’s decision to refuse the vaccine.
Fans have had a mixed reaction to Rolovich’s decision, with some calling for his dismissal while other insist it his decision to make.