Saban Surprised At Positive Results
Today the University of Alabama Athletics Department announced that head coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne have both tested positive for COVID-19. Both men have been put into isolation for quarantine and observation, per health and safety protocols.
Saban said he was surprised by the positive test result and has been asymptomatic thus far.
"We test our players every day. I get tested every day. I feel fine. I felt fine. I was very surprised by this when we got the results back at one o’clock today," said Saban.
Saban insisted that preparation for the Georgia game this weekend will continue as usual and he will handle his duties virtually to get the team ready to play on Saturday. He watched today's practice on Zoom and was able to speak with a manager to make corrections from his home.
"I didn't see anything different about practice. I got to see a lot more because when you look at it wide angle you see a lot more than when you're just standing on the field, but I thought the intensity was good, the focus was good, the players were trying to get it right," said Saban. "So I didn't really see anything any different. I can tell you, we've had a lot worse practices when I'm there, so maybe it was a good thing that I wasn't there."
Saban revealed that offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is handling his duties that must happen in the office. The football staff is formulating a plan to manage the weekend's game as normally as possible. Saban may be able to coach the game virtually on Saturday, those options are still being explored at this time.
"Obviously Sark's been a head coach before, and I'm not sure exactly how this is going to play out in terms of when the game comes, whether I can have communication with people or not," said Saban. "We'll have to research and sort of figure that one out. But we did have a plan for each coach on the staff as to what might happen. We've just got to go from there. Just like if we lose a player we have to do the same thing."
Saban reiterated that it's his goal to keep everything as normal as possible during these extenuating circumstances.
"I didn't leave the country or anything. I'm just right down the street. And we have this technology, so it's really unique. Now, I don't have experience at that. But we're going to do the best we can to keep everything as normal as possible," said Saban.