Washington State coach Nick Rolovich seeking vaccine exemption

Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich confirmed a report published Saturday by USA TODAY Sports that said he was seeking a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for state and university employees.

After Washington State defeated Oregon State 31-24, Rolovich addressed the issue in his postgame news conference and appeared to express displeasure at his mentor and former coach at Hawaii, June Jones, who revealed Rolovich’s vaccination status this week in an interview with USA TODAY Sports.

Rolovich, 42, apparently didn’t like how the news came out after he tried to keep the matter private for so long despite the risk it posed for his high-profile job amid a public health crisis. Jones, a former NFL head coach, said in the interview that Rolovich had applied for a religious exemption and that he had urged Rolovich to get vaccinated for the sake of his job and others. Rolovich played quarterback for Jones at Hawaii in 2000 and 2001.

“I’ll confirm that,” Rolovich said of the report. “Not terribly happy with the way it happened. I just hope there’s no player that I coach has to wake up and feel the way I felt today.”

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