Alabama football coach Nick Saban, athletic director test positive for COVID-19

Powerful Southern college leagues aim to forge on with fall football

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. He is self-isolating at home while continuing to oversee his team’s practices via Zoom, according to ESPN.

“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.”

Athletic director Greg Byrne also tested positive on Wednesday.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide play host to No. 3 Georgia on Saturday.

Alabama plans to test everybody within the football program Thursday. The program began daily testing for its players in September.

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who was the head coach at Washington from 2009 to 2013 and at USC in 2014 and 2015, has been put in charge while Saban is away.

The news comes as another SEC school, Florida, is dealing with its own outbreak of COVID-19. After 19 Gators tested positive, it suspended football activities and postponed its game with LSU on Saturday, Oct. 17.