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Nick Rolovich and the mandate: What you need to know if he has applied for an exemption

Rolovich has remained mum on whether or not he has gotten the vaccine or applied for an exemption.

PULLMAN, Wash. — Monday is the final day for state employees to get vaccinated or submit an exemption for Inslee's vaccine mandate and meet the October 18 deadline. 

Of course, the most high-profile state employee who's been caught up in this mandate has been WSU football head coach Nick Rolovich. 

As you would imagine, he got some questions about his vaccine status at his Monday presser:

Reporter 1: Today’s the last day state employees can get vaccinated in order to comply with the governor’s mandate, unless they’ve qualified for an exemption. Have you been vaccinated or granted an exemption?

Rolovich: I'm still following the process that's laid out. I’m going to kind of leave it right there, but I appreciate you getting on and asking.

Reporter 1: These notices are being sent out to state employees who have not presented their proof yet. Have you received one of these notices?

Rolovich: I don’t know what you're talking about.

Reporter 1: Should fans be worried about you remaining the coach in two weeks when this deadline comes up?

Rolovich: I don’t think so.

Reporter 2: John Wilner of the Mercury News in an article today on the vaccination topic citing clauses in your contract said you've chosen to risk your career and life's work. Do you feel you're risking career?

Rolovich: No.

Reporter 3: I'm just wondering a little more about Oregon State.

Rolovich: Yeah, let's talk about Oregon State.

WHAT IS WSU'S EXEMPTION PROCESS?

The moral of the story is we don't know if Nick Rolovich is vaccinated. 

So if he is not vaccinated and has filed an exemption, how does that process work?

According to a WSU spokesman, every employee evaluation will be blind so the people reviewing the exemption application will not know who they are reviewing it for. Also, every exemption application will be reviewed by at least two people.

WHAT HAPPENS IF EXEMPTION IS DENIED?

If Rolovich has filed an exemption and is denied, and he refuses to get vaccinated, then he will be terminated. The big thing here is if the university says they fired him with cause, they won't owe him any money. The way his contract is worded, it is believed they could fire him with cause.

WHAT HAPPENS IF EXEMPTION IS APPROVED?

If Rolovich applies for an exemption and it gets approved, he could still end up getting let go. 

That's because Rolovich's advisor, Athletic Director Pat Chun, then has to determine Rolovich can actually do his job if he is not vaccinated. Rolovich obviously operates in a job with a lot of face to face and close interaction. Chun could say that Rolovich can't fulfill his responsibilities if he is not vaccinated. He may say Rolovich can. We just don't know. Of course, HR will most likely also be involved in this process.

WHAT HAPPENS IF ROLOVICH GETS THE VACCINE LATE?

If Rolovich has applied for an exemption and gets denied, but decides he wants to take the shot, he will have to take unpaid leave until he is fully vaccinated.