In a stunning turn of events, Nick Saban has been cleared to coach Alabama tonight from the sidelines. This announcement comes just three days after he tested positive for COVID-19.
When he initially tested positive for the virus, Saban said that he wasn’t experiencing any symptoms. Despite being asymptomatic, there were plenty of fans that just assumed he’d be unable to coach this weekend.
However, Saban has tested negative for COVID-19 three separate times since testing positive on Wednesday. Each negative test was 24 hours apart.
Shortly after Alabama announced that Saban would be on the sidelines for tonight’s marquee matchup with Georgia, the SEC released a statement on the biggest story in college football.
“Upon being notified by the University of Alabama of a potential positive COVID-19 test result involving Nick Saban, the SEC Office provided and reviewed with the university the COVID-19 management requirements established by the SEC’s Medical Guidance Task Force and emphasized the need to comply with all local and state health policies,” the SEC said in a statement.
“Consistent with the Conference’s COVID-19 management requirements, PAE, the third-party provider secured by the SEC to standardize and provide testing for the 14 member institutions, has utilized the authorized laboratory in processing and reporting the three tests 24 hours apart as necessary to satisfy the requirements of the Task Force policy regarding the handling of asymptomatic PCR positive tests.”
Statement from the Southeastern Conference Office on Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) October 17, 2020
The SEC’s protocols state that an individual who has three successive negative PCR tests and remains asymptomatic may return to athletic activities.
It seemed like a long shot a few days ago, but Saban will be on the sidelines for tonight’s game.
Alabama vs. Georgia is set to kick off at 8:00 PM ET on CBS.