Less than a week before the Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles, Washington state coach Nick Rolovich announced via Twitter that he would not be attending the event in person due to the tenure of the league to vaccinate all participants.
Rolovich is not vaccinated and will participate in the event remotely.
“I chose not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine for reasons that will remain private,” Rolovich’s statement read. “Although I have made my own decision, I respect the fact that each individual, including our coaches, staff and student-athletes, can make their own decision regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. I will not comment further on my decision.
The Pac-12 asked members of the media present at the event to provide proof of vaccination or, for those not vaccinated or refusing to disclose their vaccination status, proof of a negative PCR or test. antigen within 72 hours of the event. Pac-12 media day is scheduled for July 27.
Rolovich, 42, is entering his second season in Washington state after serving as head coach in Hawaii from 2016 to 2019. Last year the Cougars went 1 to 3 in the pandemic shortened season .
Rolovich’s announcement comes as other Power 5 conferences have used their media days as a platform to promote immunization. The SEC and Big 12 commissioners have both highlighted how an unvaccinated population could put the coming season at risk.
“Frankly, anyone who doesn’t get the shot is taking unnecessary and unwarranted risks,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “It’s short-sighted not to get vaccinated. If indeed the delta variant is as contagious as it is said, not getting vaccinated is like rolling the dice. As student athletes, you also roll the dice to see if you are going to participate.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stressed that COVID-19 vaccines were not a political tool, but rather a public health asset.
“With six weeks to go, now is the time to ask for this full vaccination,” Sankey said. “And we know nothing is perfect, but the availability and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines is an important and incredible scientific product. It is not political football.
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