Former Washington State Cougars football coach Nick Rolovich is entering a legal battle with his ex-employer after getting canned last year for remaining unvaccinated. He lost his job as a result of Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s decree for all state employees to be vaccinated, which made no sense then and makes even less sense now.
Four Cougars coaching assistants — Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber — were also fired because of the rigid vaccine requirement. Rolovich had applied for a religious exemption to remain unvaccinated, but his request was denied.
Rolovich Sticks It To WSU
According to The Seattle Times, Rolovich’s lawsuit, filed Friday in Whitman County Superior Court, targets WSU, Cougars athletic director Patrick Chun and Inslee for his dismissal, which the case said was an infringement on his religious freedoms.
The lawsuit also claims “wrongful withholding of wages and violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as the First and 14th Amendments.”
In 2021, Rolovich’s platform adamantly promoted his decision based on his religious beliefs as a Catholic rather than siding with the state-mandated ruling.
Relayed by OutKick’s Ian Miller, Rolovich was also banned from attending Pac-12 games based on his decision not to take the vaccine.
Rolovich’s lawsuit stated that the coach sought to recoup lost wages.
In August, a tort claim filed by the former coach announced that he was requesting $25 million from WSU over his firing.
WSU AD Pat Chun framed the school’s decision as a way to protect students from the unvaccinated Rolovich.
After news of the lawsuit surfaced Monday, WSU released a statement, calling Rolovich’s claim inaccurate.
“Mr. Rolovich’s lawsuit against Washington State University is wholly without merit,” the school’s statement read, defending Inslee’s vaccination requirement.
“Washington State University carried out the Governor’s COVID-19 vaccine proclamation for state employees in a fair and lawful manner, including in its evaluation of employee requests for medical or religious exemptions and accommodations.
“For multiple reasons, Rolovich did not qualify, and the university firmly stands by that decision. Washington State University will vigorously defend itself against Mr. Rolovich’s claims.”
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela