Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not coach Saturday’s game against Auburn.
According to a statement issued by the university, Saban received a positive test on Wednesday morning and was showing “very mild symptoms.” Because Saban is symptomatic, the test will not be classified as a false positive.
“He will follow all appropriate instructions and be isolated at home,” team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson and athletic trainer Jeff Allen said in the statement.
The 69-year-old will have to be in isolation for at least 10 days, which will bring him back on December 4, one day before the final match scheduled for the regular season in Arkansas. According to the SEC protocol, “At least 24 hours must have passed since the last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of symptoms (such as coughing, shortness of breath, etc.), as per CDC current isolation guidelines.”
Saban told reporters that the training tasks would fall to Steve Sarkissian, attack coordinator in his absence. Sarkissian, who was a former USC and Washington trainer, was assigned to coaching assignments after Saban’s positive test in October.
Saban said he had no idea where he had contracted the virus. He said he was the only positive in the program in this latest round of testing, and that it is up to the contact trader to determine if any player or coach falls into contact tracing protocols.
“Depending on how we’re managing internally in the building, I can’t see any problems with the coaches and players, but it’s up to (the contact tracing officers),” Saban said.
Last month, Saban received what was ultimately considered a false positive test. After initially testing positive, he underwent three consecutive negative tests and was able to train Crimson Tide’s team in Georgia.
Alabama is unbeaten and first place in the soccer world rankings.
ESPN’s Chris Low contributed to this report.
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