Former Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich expresses regret after call with Washington state player over social justice group

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Washington State Head Football Coach Nick Rolovich broke his silence this evening and expressed regret for his controversial phone call with Cougars wide receiver Kassidy Woods regarding the Pac-12 group of players #WeAreUnited , which advocates for social justice.On Sunday’s phone call recorded by Woods, the wide receiver told his coach he was retiring from the upcoming season due to personal health concerns related to the coronavirus.

Rolovich told him he had no problem with the decision, but then asked Woods if he was in the #WeAreUnited group. When Woods confirmed he was a member of the group, Rolovich told him that being involved in the group would hurt his position with the team and that he should clear his locker.

Woods posted a transcript of his call with Rolovich to the Dallas Morning News.

According to USA Today, Woods said on Sunday that Rolovich was clear that staying aligned with the group of Pac-12 athletes who seek “fair treatment for college athletes” could cloud his future with the Cougars.

#WeAreUnited players say they have communicated with over 400 of their peers throughout Pac-12. The group released a long list of requests on Sunday and said if they are not addressed they will not train or play.

Their requests focused on four areas: health and safety protections, in particular COVID-19 related protocols; guard against the elimination of sports programs by schools during an economic downturn; end racial injustice in college sports; and economic freedom and equity.

“I spoke with Kassidy Woods in a private phone conversation on Saturday afternoon. That was before the #WeAreUnited group issued their letter of concern, ”Rolovich, the University of Hawaii’s former head coach and quarterback, said in a statement to media tonight.

“Without knowing the concerns of the group, I regret that my words warning Kassidy have become an opposition. I am proud of our players and all Pac-12 student-athletes for using their platform, especially for the topics they are passionate about. WSU student football athletes who have expressed their support for the #WeAreUnited group will continue to be welcome at all team-related activities, unless they choose to opt out for health reasons and of security. “



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