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Nick Rolovich. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Washington State University announced Monday that head coach Nick Rolovich and four assistant coaches were fired for not complying with the state's COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

The big picture: The former head coach has been vocal about his refusal to get the vaccine and applied for religious exemption earlier this month. Jake Dickert, the team's defensive coordinator, was named acting head coach.

  • In accordance with state law, employees of the university had to be fully vaccinated by Monday.
  • Rolovich was the only head coach in the Pacific-12 conference that remained unvaccinated, according to AP.

What they're saying: "This is a disheartening day for our football program," WSU director of athletics Pat Chun said in a statement.

  • "Our priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of the young men on our team," he continued.
  • "Experience is showing that vaccine mandates help motivate people to complete the vaccination process," said Marty Dickinson, WSU Board of Regents chair. "WSU has worked diligently to ensure the health and safety of our students, facility, staff and communities, as seen in our outstanding vaccination rates."

Go deeper

Nov 22, 2021 - World

Germany debates forced vax

A sign indicating a coronavirus testing site in Stralsund, Germany, on Nov. 29. Photo: Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc have called for coronavirus vaccine mandates to head off a fourth wave of coronavirus cases, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: The country's seven-day coronavirus case rate rose to 372.7 per 100,000 people on Sunday — the highest level since the pandemic began — and it has a vaccination rate of just 68%.

GOP courts anti-vaxxers with jobless aid

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republican officials around the country are testing a creative mechanism to build loyalty with unvaccinated Americans while undermining Biden administration mandates: unemployment benefits.

Driving the news: Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee have changed their unemployment insurance rules to allow workers who are fired or quit over vaccine mandates to receive benefits.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

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