Washington State University’s football coach Nick Rolovich was firedAfter refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, I was taken by school on Monday.

Rolovich, 42, was the state’s highest-paid employee, earning an annual salary of $3.2 million and was midway through a five-year, $15.6 million contract. His four assistants were also dismissed.

Defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will serve as the team’s acting head coach.

“This is a disheartening day for our football program,” the school’s athletic director, Pat Chun, said in a statement. “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.”

The school said Rolovich was “no longer able to fulfill the duties as the football head coach at Washington State University,” citing Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) requirement that all state workers be vaccinated or obtain an exemption. Officials stated that the vaccinations have been given to 90% of employees as well as 97% students.

Inslee’s proclamation is one of the strictest in the nationThe state required that all employees of the government and other public servants be fully vaccinated before October 18, as part of their employment. Except for exemptions due to religious or medical reasons, employers are obliged to confirm vaccination status.

Rolovich applied for religious exemption. A committee was scheduled to examine the request Monday. The team had been winning three consecutive games and players were backing their coach, a sign of concern about the Monday deadline.

Coach first said in July that he wasn’t vaccinated for “private” reasons after he was barred from attending the Pac-12 football media day in Los Angeles, which required attendees be fully inoculated, The Washington Post notes.

“As I go forward, I plan on adhering to all policies that are implemented for the unvaccinated at the state, local, campus, conference level. I’m not against vaccinations,” Rolovich said at the time. “I wholeheartedly support those who choose to be vaccinated, including our players, staff, coaches.”

Inslee’s mandate was issued days later.

Source: HuffPost.com.

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