College Football

Rolovich won't attend Pac-12 event due to vaccine mandate

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Washington State football coach Nick Rolovich said he will not participate on site next week during the Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles after choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

"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 wrote in a statement posted Wednesday on Twitter. "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."

Rolovich is about to begin his second season as the head coach at Washington State after spending the previous four seasons at Hawaii. Washington State played just four games last season and had two games - included the Apple Cup with rival Washington - canceled due to COVID-19 issues.

Washington State 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.

Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said he's had several conversations with Rolovich about his decision not to get vaccinated.

"While WSU has a vaccination mandate, there are policies and procedures for employees to follow who are not vaccinated," Chun said in a statement. "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."

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Updated July 21, 2021

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