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WATCH: Nick Saban talks testing positive for Covid-19

Update: 3:33 p.m. Oct. 16 

“Coach Saban was evaluated again today by Dr. Robinson. He continues to be asymptomatic and without fever. We are continuing to follow the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives. A PCR test was repeated Thursday by the SEC appointed lab and was negative. For clarification, the initial positive result came from an outside lab we’ve used to supplement the SEC mandated testing. He will continue to remain in isolation and receive daily PCR tests. Should he have three negative PCR tests through the SEC appointed lab, each 24 hours apart, the initial test would be considered a false positive pursuant to SEC protocols and he would be allowed to return.” — Jeff Allen, Associate AD, Sports Medicine.

Update: 3:03 p.m. Oct. 15 

“Coach Saban was evaluated by our team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson today. Coach remains asymptomatic at this point and is doing fine. He is continuing to self-isolate and will remain in the SEC testing protocol while being evaluated daily.” — Jeff Allen, Associate AD, Sports Medicine.



Alabama became the latest SEC program to be hit by COVID-19 as the university announced Wednesday evening that head coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne have both tested positive for the virus. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian “will oversee operations” in Saban’s absence, the head coach announced in a statement.

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis. I informed our team of my positive test at 2 p.m. today on a Zoom call and let them know offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home.”

Saban will turn 69 years old on Oct. 31, while Bryne will turn 49 next month. Both have returned to their homes to self-isolate after receiving the news of their positive test. According to the university’s release, Alabama’s positive tests are limited to those two individuals.

The release also stated that all individuals who are considered high-risk contacts have been notified and will follow quarantine guidelines. In addition, Alabama said it will follow the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives.

CDC guidelines state that those who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days, while contact tracing requires a 14-day quarantine.

Wednesday’s news comes three days before No. 2 Alabama is set to take on No. 3 Georgia. The status of the game is unknown at this point.

The SEC has already rescheduled two games this week as Vanderbilt at Missouri and LSU at Florida have both been pushed back to Dec. 12.

Earlier Wednesday Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin announced that his team is dealing with COVID-19 issues days after the Rebels game against the Tide this past weekend.

"We have a number of guys out," Kiffin said. "I'm not going to get into numbers. We have not had that in-season. We had it during camp. This is the first time dealing with it in-season...We are not in a great situation number-wise at all.”

Saban is still scheduled to address the media through his Wednesday-evening Zoom call.

Statement from Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19. I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis. I informed our team of my positive test at 2 p.m. today on a Zoom call and let them know offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home.”

Statement from Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne

“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive. Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you.”

Statement from Dr. Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allen

“Early this afternoon, we received notification that Coach Saban and Greg Byrne tested positive for COVID-19. Both immediately left the facility and went to their homes to self-isolate after receiving that information. At this point in time, the positive tests are limited to those two individuals. All individuals who are considered high risk contacts have been notified and will follow quarantine guidelines. We will follow the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives.”

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19. Photo | Getty Images
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19. Photo | Getty Images