Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and won't be at the team's game against the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday night. Saban appeared on his weekly radio show on Thursday night and talked about his health. He said he's not experiencing any symptoms and is looking to be a part of the game somehow.
"I'm doing great," he said as reported by ESPN. "I don't have any symptoms. I don't have a fever." Per NCAA rules, Saban can't communicate with the coaching staff during the game because of having a competitive edge. However, if Saban has three negative tests, including the second two in a 24-hour span, he could be cleared to return before the game. Saban wants to be out there with his team as they play in what could be the biggest game of the season.
"I would hate to not be at the game Saturday if that's what this turns out to be," Saban said. He also added that it "doesn't seem quite right" that he won't be able to communicate with his staff or players during a game in quarantine. The six-time National Championship-winning coach oversaw practice via Zoom on Wednesday and Thursday.
"There's ways to do this so you wouldn't be putting anyone in harm's way," he said. "But I also believe in the safety of all the people ... so there would have to be some logistical things to work out." Saban also showed his appreciation to those who contacted him over the last couple of days. "The support from so many people from all over the United States -- phone calls, text messages, emails -- have been wonderful," he said. "It's very uplifting the relationships you've made through the years and so many people who would be concerned about your well-being, and I really appreciate it, and I want everybody to know that."
On Thursday, the team released a statement on Saban's health, which stated: "Coach Saban was evaluated by our team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson today. The coach remains asymptomatic at this point and is doing fine. He is continuing to self-isolate and will remain in the SEC testing protocol while being evaluated daily." Saban has been the head coach at Alabama since 2007. He had won five national titles with the team and won a title when he was the LSU head coach.