Coach Saban Still Asymptomatic But Sidelined For Alabama-Georgia

Oct 14, 2020

Nick Saban won’t be allowed to coach from his home when his No. 2-ranked University of Alabama football team meets third-ranked University of Georgia, per Southeastern Conference and NCAA guidelines.

The 68-year-old Saban remains asymptomatic after testing positive for COVID-19 and the university said in statement that he was evaluated by team doctor Jimmy Robinson on Thursday “and is doing fine." 

The SEC follows protocols set forth by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Saban is self-isolating at home, and according to an interpretation of NCAA rules coaches aren’t allowed to use technology to call in plays or communicate with the team during a game while in quarantine because of COVID-19.

The school added Saban “is continuing to self-isolate and will remain in the SEC testing protocol while being evaluated daily.”

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was expected to oversee the team. 

Saban said he was able to lead practices and run meetings from home via Zoom. For example, he communicated with a team manager when he saw a mistake in practice and wanted a play repeated.

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 a reported 19 Gators 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.