Nick Saban, just three days after testing positive for COVID, will be coaching on the sidelines when the Tide take on No. 3 Georgia this evening. The quick and unexpected turnaround only happened because of SEC rules.
Alabama released a statement Saturday morning to explain the timeline of Saban’s testing results. In total, the Tide’s head coach tested negative for the virus five times following his positive test this past Wednesday. The five negative tests, in combination with Saban remaining asymptomatic, has allowed Saban to join his team for tonight’s game.
“Due to the fact that Coach Saban has remained completely symptom-free and had five negative PCR tests, split between two separate labs, the initial test from Wednesday is considered a false positive under the SEC protocols,” Alabama released in a statement. “. . . Coach Saban is medically cleared to safely return to activity effective immediately.”
Take a look at Alabama’s full statement, which explains the timeline which allows Saban to coach this evening, in the tweet below.
Saban’s back pic.twitter.com/KEhU8OjM4E
— Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) October 17, 2020
Saturday’s breaking news is an unexpected turn of events for Alabama. The Tide were planning on Steve Sarkisian to serve as temporary head coach this evening. But that now won’t be necessary.
Alabama football is gearing up for the biggest game of the college football season. The second-ranked Tide play the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs this evening. The winner will jump ahead in the SEC and College Football Playoff race.
The Alabama Crimson Tide take on Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs this evening at 8 p.m. ET from Bryant-Denny Stadium on CBS. Believe it or not, Saban will be on the sidelines.