“The guy you look up to every day is gone. “The results of the departure of Rolovich, told by a former WSU


Remember January 2020. It was a more innocent time, wasn’t it? And a new era is the Washington State University football program.

WSU alumnus Michael-Shawn Dugar remembers it like it was yesterday.

He sets the scene in a column this week: “The timing was perfect. Beer in one hand, a chicken wing in the other, a smile on my face and a ray of hope by my side. It was the start of something new, something exciting. , something special.”

He didn’t know it, it was actually the start of something disappointing for him. And not just because of the Covid-19.

Dugar had high hopes for the team’s new coach, Nick Rolovich. Now, not even two full seasons later, he’s out of work.

Rolovich – who was one of Washington’s highest-paid public employees with a salary of $ 3.1 million – was fired by Washington State University for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as required a mandate for government employees.

“This is a discouraging day for our football program. Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team,” said WSU Director of Athletics Pat. Chun, in a statement. “The leadership of our football team is filled with young men of character, selflessness and resilience and we are confident these same attributes will help guide this program as we move forward.”

Defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will take his place for now.

Rolovich’s request for a religious exemption from Governor Jay Inslee’s tenure to have state officials vaccinated against Covid-19 has been denied. He had requested a religious exemption after making headlines for saying he would not get the shots for private reasons.

Dugar covers the Seattle Seahawks for The Athletic.

But as a WSU alum, as a Black WSU alum, he reflects on how this saga has unfolded for him as a Coug and as a fan grappling with what he already considered to be the very problematic college football machine.

Most importantly, he reflects on the young players left behind.

Four of Rolovich’s assistant coaches, Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber were also fired by the university for not being fully vaccinated on Monday.

“The guy you look up to every day is gone. He’s gone. He left you. And he had a choice,” Dugar said, adding that Rolovich and the four assistant coaches had indeed promised the players that they would not be. more there to mentor. “And it’s fucked up.”

Dugar spoke with KUOW Morning Edition host Angela King about what the season has in store for the team now.


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