Washington State head coach Nick Rolovich will not attend next week's Pac-12 media days because of the league's requirement that all participants be vaccinated against Covid-19. Rolovich made the announcement over his Twitter account on Wednesday.
"As the Pac-12 Conference has required 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. "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."
The irony here is that, by not attending in person, Rolovich guarantees his decision not to get vaccinated will be the only thing the media wants him to comment on.
Rolovich is to date the only FBS head coach to publicly state he has not and will not get vaccinated. Mike Leach, formerly the Wazzu head coach and now at Mississippi State, earlier Wednesday declined to state whether or not he'd been vaccinated and said he wouldn't share his status publicly in either direction.
Earlier this week, the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced it is requiring all athletics personnel to be fully vaccinated. The SIAC is thus far the first and only conference to lay down such an edict, and there's been no indication any FBS league will follow suit.
The next step will now be to see if the Pac-12 will require Rolovich and other unvaccinated personnel to wear a mask on the sideline during games this fall.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
9:48 p.m. ET Update: Without mentioning him by name, Wazzu president Kirk Schulz released a statement saying, in part, "Washington State University expects all students, faculty, staff and volunteers to be fully vaccinated before the start of the fall semester... The science shows the COVID-19 vaccine nearly eliminates all chances of death or serious illness related to a COVID-19 infection and is a critical element in protecting public health locally and worldwide."