Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban tested negative for COVID-19 one day after he and athletic director Greg Byrne confirmed they’d tested positive, opening up the possibility that Saban could work on the sideline for Saturday’s game between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia.
As Alex Scarborough wrote for ESPN, Alabama head athletic trainer Jeff Allen announced in an official statement that team physician Dr. Eugene Robinson evaluated Saban, who turns 69 years old on Oct. 31, and found that the coach is asymptomatic and has no 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.”
The first indication that Saban may work in person on Saturday evening came on Thursday when ESPN’s Heather Dinich reported during a “College Football Live” segment that negative test results could clear the coach.
“As I’m sitting here right now, I got confirmation from the SEC office that if Nick Saban or anyone else for that matter were to get three straight negative PCR tests and remain asymptomatic, they could leave isolation and rejoin the team,” Dinich explained.
Saban must produce additional negative test results on Friday and Saturday while isolating before he’s permitted to return to football activities.
Earlier on Friday, Kansas Jayhawks coach Les Miles told the school’s website he is not traveling for Saturday’s game at West Virginia even though he was cleared following his positive coronavirus test on Oct. 8.
“As the head coach, it is up to me to set the right example for our student-athletes, and that is what I am doing with this decision by not traveling with the team,” Miles said.