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University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19


Another SEC game slated for the weekend is now up in the air

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for the coronavirus and is currently isolating at home, the school announced Wednesday.

Saban's self-quarantine is expected to last several days, leaving questions over who will coach the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide in its scheduled Southeastern Conference game Saturday against No. 3 University of Georgia — if the matchup is not postponed along with other conference games originally slated this weekend.

What are the details?

"I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19," Saban said in a statement. "I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis."

The coach added that "offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home."

According to Al.com, "Saban has been careful with mask usage in public since the season began. While some SEC coaches have been lax with the face coverings during games, Saban's consistently been masked up during Alabama's first three games of the season."

Alabama team doctor Jimmy Robinson confirmed that the university's athletic director, Greg Byrne, also tested positive.

ESPN noted:

Alabama team physicians Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allen said Saban and Byrne were the only two individuals who tested positive "at this point in time," and that the school would follow the SEC's Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives.

CDC guidelines say those with positive tests must isolate for 10 days, while contact tracing requires a 14-day quarantine.

While the Alabama-Georgia game's status is up in the air, a number of SEC games slated for this weekend have already been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreaks. The conference announced earlier on Wednesday that Saturday's game between No. 10 University of Florida and Louisiana State University has been postponed.

Earlier in the week, the SEC announced that the Oct. 17 game between Vanderbilt University and the University of Missouri would be tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12 "due to positive tests & subsequent quarantine of individuals within the Vanderbilt FB program," saying "the action is consistent with SEC COVID-19 management requirements."

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