Alabama coach Nick Saban tests positive, showing COVID-19 symptoms

Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not coach Saturday’s game against Auburn.

According to a statement released by the university, Saban received the positive test Wednesday morning and is showing “very mild symptoms.” Because Saban is symptomatic, the test will not be categorized as a false positive.

“He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home,” team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson and head athletic trainer Jeff Allen said in the statement.

Saban, 69, will have to isolate for at least 10 days, which would put his return on Dec. 4, one day before the scheduled regular-season finale at Arkansas. According to SEC protocol, “At least 24 hours must have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptom improvement (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, etc.) has occurred, in accordance with current CDC guidance for isolation.”

Last month, Saban received what was eventually deemed to be a false positive test. After initially testing positive, he had three consecutive negative tests and was able to coach the Crimson Tide’s win over Georgia.

With Saban ruled out against Auburn, the head-coaching duties will likely fall to offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian, who was previously a head coach at USC and Washington, had been designated for head-coaching duties after Saban’s positive test in October.

Alabama is undefeated and No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

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