Alabama HC Nick Saban, AD Greg Byrne Test Positive for COVID-19

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2020, file photo, Alabama coach Nick Saban leads his team to the field before an NCAA college football game against Missouri in Columbia, Mo. New Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin faces his old boss, Nick Saban, when the Rebels host No. 2 Alabama on Saturday. Saban last week improved to 20-0 when facing teams led by one of his former assistants. By(AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)
L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Early this afternoon, we received notification that Coach Saban and (AD) Greg Byrne tested positive for COVID-19," the school said in a statement. "Both immediately left the facility and went to their homes to self-isolate after receiving that information."

"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 said in a statement.

Saban, 68, added that he has not experienced any symptoms related to COVID-19. He later told reporters on Wednesday evening he felt "fine."

As for Saturday's game against No. 3 Georgia, Saban noted he's unsure of what type of role he can have for Alabama:

ESPN College Football @ESPNCFB

Nick Saban says he is unsure if he will be able to communicate with his team during Saturday's game vs. No. 3 Georgia. @SECNetwork https://t.co/iPGDJf9y9J

The Crimson Tide faced Ole Miss on Saturday, a team that is currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

"For the first time we are having an issue with that," head coach Lane Kiffin told reporters Wednesday. "I'm not going to get into the numbers."

The team hadn't had a positive test for COVID-19 in the last four weeks but is now dealing with multiple cases, per Nick Suss of the Clarion-Ledger.

It comes after two other SEC games scheduled for Saturday—Florida vs. LSU and Missouri vs. Vanderbilt—were postponed as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Alabama also faced Missouri earlier in the season with 12 Tigers players out for COVID-related reasons.

Alabama is scheduled to face Georgia on Saturday in a game that could have significant implications for the SEC championship and College Football Playoff picture. Both teams are currently 3-0 on the season.