Sports

WSU coach unvaccinated, won’t attend media day

Washington State coach Nick Rolovich announced Wednesday afternoon that he has chosen not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and that he will be joining Pac-12 media day remotely on Tuesday.

“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,” Rolovich said in a statement.

He continued: “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 athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement that he and Rolovich “have had 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,” Chun said.

The terms of Washington State’s vaccine mandate for employees and staff were not immediately clear. The university has said all students engaging in activities on campus for the 2021-22 academic year must provide proof of vaccination with exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons.

Rolovich is the second coach scheduled to speak during Pac-12 media day, at 9:20 a.m. PT.

Washington State had two games canceled during the 2020 season because of COVID-19, against Cal and Washington, and finished with a record of 1-3 in Rolovich’s first season as coach.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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