Rolovich’s Appeal Against WSU and His Pending Lawsuit

Since Nick Rolovich was fired from WSU, his attorney Brian Fahling sent out a letter promising legal action against the university for what they said was an unjust and unlawful termination. This was followed by a 34 page appeal that was sent out on Thursday. But what do these letters mean in a legal context? And what case does Rolovich have against Washington State? 


According to WSU sports law professor Chris Lebens, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Rolo. “It’s saying W-S-U somehow, some way shape or form, has singled out Nick Rolovich and his Catholicism, and said no to it,” he said, “that didn’t happen. That clearly didn’t happen and that didn’t happen to anyone who’s out there looking at this.”


Towards the end of our interview, Lebens brought up an interesting point. He mentioned that unvaccinated students were being allowed to stay until the end of the semester, whereas Rolovich was fired as soon as the vaccine mandate was in place. I wanted to learn more about this process, so I spoke to an unvaccinated student that wished to remain anonymous.


The student told me some of what he went through during the exemption process, “I got approved in August, and when I re-did it again in late September-early October, I got denied that time. There was never a point where someone said, ‘hey, you’re going to need to fill this out again.’… It wasn’t communicated the best, that’s for sure. It was definitely a frustrating process,” he said, “I tried my appeals for this most recent exemption request, and got denied for that as well.” 


The student did confirm that he was allowed by the university to stay for the spring semester. I also asked the student how they felt about students being allowed to stay for the semester versus firing Rolovich as soon as the mandate began, and they said, “It’s a money thing, if you kick every unvaccinated student off campus, you’re going to have to refund that money somehow. Whether that’s a portion or whether it’s all of what you paid for the semester.” It’s hard to say if that discrepancy will be included in Nick Rolovich’s eventual lawsuit against the school, but it could end up being a large part of his case against the university.