Oct 16, 2021; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich celebrates after a game against the Stanford Cardinal at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. The Cougars won 34-31. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

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Ex-Washington State coach Nick Rolovich to sue over firing

Former Washington State coach Nick Rolovich will pursue legal action against the university for illegal termination, in part because of “discriminatory and vindictive behavior” by athletic director Pat Chun, his attorney said Wednesday.

Washington State fired Rolovich and four assistant coaches Monday after they failed to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate that required all state employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Rolovich was the state’s highest-paid employee at $3.2 million per year.

Rolovich, 42, had filed a request for a religious exemption to the mandate that all employees in the state become vaccinated by Oct. 19, but his request — reviewed anonymously — was denied.

Chun on Monday said Rolovich’s firing is for cause separation, meaning the university does not plan to pay him.

“It is a tragic and damning commentary on our culture and more specifically on Chun that Coach Rolovich has been derided, demonized and ultimately fired from his job merely for being devout in his Catholic faith,” Brian Fahling, who represents Rolovich, said in a statement obtained by ESPN and Yahoo.

“… Since at least early April, it became clear that Chun had already determined that Coach Rolovich would be fired,” the statement read. “Chun’s animus toward Coach Rolovich’s sincerely held religious beliefs, and Chun’s dishonesty at the expense of Coach Rolovich during the past year is damning and will be thoroughly detailed in litigation. Chun’s discriminatory and vindicative (sic) behavior has caused immeasurable harm to Coach Rolovich and his family.”

It is uncertain what restitution Rolovich would be seeking against Washington State. Yahoo Sports reported Rolovich had three years and approximately $9 million left on his contract.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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