The SEC is the latest football conference dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. According to multiple reports, at least five Alabama football players have tested positive for COVID-19 this week as the team gets ready for the 2020 season. AL.com is reporting that one of the players who tested positive for COVID-19 was in attendance for workout sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was also reported the player was asymptomatic. The number of players who have tested positive hasn't been officially confirmed as there could be more than five.
The University of Alabama released a statement on the situation. It said: "The health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority. Resources and protocols are in place to ensure they receive the best medical care when returning to campus. Due to privacy laws we cannot share information specific to the health of our student-athletes." This comes on the heels of Alabama head coach Nick Saban being featured in a commercial about how fans should wear a mask while they are out in public during the coronavirus pandemic.
"All of us want to make sure we play football this fall," a masked Saban said in the commercial, "and to make that happen, we must be sure we stay at home if we have symptoms, wash our hands often, follow all social distancing guidelines, and please wear a mask anytime you're around other people." The Crimson Tide is scheduled to start the season on Sept. 5 against USC in Arlington, Texas. However, it's possible Alabama could be playing a different opponent because USC cannot currently practice because of the pandemic.
"Told by two people I trust — USC v Alabama isn't happening. Trojans can't even practice in L.A. potentially for several months. This is why Bama already talking to other possible opponents. Not official but understood. Feeling now that Pac 12 football in spring — much more likely," FS1 host Colin Cowherd wrote on Twitter. Alabama is looking to bounce back after what the team would call a disappointing 2019 season. After reaching the national championship game four consecutive years, the Crimson Tide missed out on playing in the big game last year after suffering losses to LSU and Auburn in the regular season. However, the team is expected to be in the national championship picture this fall.