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Washington State Head Football Coach Nick Rolovich was fired Monday evening after refusing his shot to lose to the University of Washington in the Apple Cup. This move comes at the deadline of when he needed to make the declaration that his football team would lose to the Huskies come Thanksgiving Weekend.
“We have a number of proud traditions at Washington State University,” said the AD Pat Chun in a statement Monday, “Losing to our brothers from the west in generally heartbreaking fashion is just one of them. Refusing to comply with these high standards is against where we stand in the Palouse.”
The Cougars have not beat the Huskies in regulation since 2007, something university president Kirk Schulz is proud of and is hoping to continue.
“We have had a grand streak of losing the Apple Cup over the past decade-plus. The two overtime victories were certainly out of our control, as the Huskies basically gave the trophy to us and we couldn’t really help it.”
In a pregame interview on Sunday, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew was asked about the Rolovich situation at WSU, where he played his last year of eligibility.
“Losing to UW was part of the deal,” said Minshew, “It was a big bummer because we were doing so well and probably would have won the conference and go to an NY6 bowl, but we knew that losing to the Huskies was required by us as WSU football players.”
“For Rolovich to refuse his shot at losing the Apple Cup is extremely cowardice.”
“It was a weird season last year,” said WSU running back Max Borghi, “Rolovich comes in and talks about how we are going to beat UW and it was strange because we always lose to them. As the season went on, we felt like he was being more serious. Thankfully some of us got Covid and the Apple Cup was cancelled.”
“Could you imagine being the class that beats UW?” he finished with a shutter.
Rolovich’s termination comes at the heels of a three-game winning streak and a feeling that the Cougs have finally gelled together after a rough beginning to the season. Administrators said after the game on Saturday that they have become increasingly nervous about Rolovich’s stance on getting his shot to lose the Apple Cup.
“The words you hear out of the locker room are those of toughness and competition. This is rhetoric that is not acceptable at Washington State University.”
Former players are coming out in support of the former coach, such as former QB Drew Bledsoe. “I am proud for what coach Rolovich is standing for. The corrupt WSU administration thinks they can control the outcome of this rivalry game, but no. I say we give the decision back to the players like we did in 1992. We didn’t hurt anyone by winning.”
“I remember the pressure of the 2012 Apple Cup,” said former cornerback Toni Pole, “When Keith Price’s ball hit my hand, my instinct was to keep hold of it and I did. I got a lot of flack for it but I stuck to my gut feeling, and I’m proud of Rolo for doing the same.”
City officials, on the other hand, stated the dangers imposed by the Cougs winning the Apple Cup. “The consequences of not losing to UW are tremendous and frightening. I don’t see the city of Pullman lasting throughout the night if the Cougs were to pull it out. Rolo’s decision is really a stain to the safety and well-being of the community.”
Rolovich requested a religious exemption as an option to not take the shot, which was denied. While Rolovich did not state the specific religion, he described it as one that “includes great members such as Chip Kelly, Mario Cristobal, and Jonathan Smith" who all “beat UW without drama".
With Rolovich out, the Cougs are looking at the D2 level for coaches, as it was proven earlier in the season that hiring an FCS coach will run the risk of the team beating UW.
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