Alabama Coach Saban Tests Negative In Time To Coach Against Georgia
Alabama coach Nick Saban was back on the sideline against Georgia after all. The Southeastern Conference cleared Saban on Saturday to coach in the game after he tested negative for COVID-19 the past three days.
The move came hours ahead of Saturday night’s game between the second-ranked Crimson Tide and No. 3 Bulldogs. Alabama won, 41-24.
Saban had initially tested positive on Wednesday, along with athletic director Greg Byrne. Team physician Jimmy Robinson said Saban was tested the next three mornings, and the initial result was deemed a false positive.
“Those three negative tests satisfied the SEC protocol for a false positive,” Robinson said. “Out of an abundance of caution, two additional PCR tests were administered at the same time on Thursday and Friday and were tested by a separate lab. Those tests were also negative.”
The SEC follows protocols set forth by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19.
Saban's diagnosis came the same week No. 10-ranked Florida was forced to postpone Saturday's home game against defending national champion LSU after Gators coach Dan Muller and multple UF players tested positive for the virus. It was rescheduled for Dec. 12.
The SEC also postponed Saturday's Missouri-Vanderbilt game. Vanderbilt cited a shortage of available scholarship players due to the quarantining of individuals with positive COVID-19 tests and those designated as close contacts, along with injuries and opt-outs.