Saban won’t rule out coaching Saturday

Saban won’t rule out coaching Saturday

Alabama coach Nick Saban, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, isn’t ruling out the possibility of being on the sideline Saturday when the second-ranked Crimson Tide play host to third-ranked Georgia.

Saban said on his weekly Thursday radio show, “I’m doing great. I don’t have any symptoms. I don’t have a fever.”

As for potentially being on the scene Saturday, he could be present if he has three negative COVID-19 tests, the last two in a 24-hour span, per Southeastern Conference protocols.

Barring that, he wouldn’t be allowed to guide the Crimson Tide at all on Saturday, even remotely from home.

“The protocol is, if you’re in quarantine, you can’t have any remote access to the sidelines and you can’t go to the game, even if they put you in an isolated area,” said Saban, who turns 69 on Halloween. “So, never having thought much about that — and I’m not being critical here — if you’re the head coach, there ought to be a better way to do it.

“I don’t know exactly what that is. But there should be a better way to do that. You ought to have some kind of communication with the sidelines, just like I have communication with somebody on the field during practice. I can’t directly talk to a player, but I can say, ‘Tell 22 that he was supposed to re-route the guy,’ or whatever.

“You can’t have any of that. That doesn’t seem quite right.”

Saban added of putting the game strategy in the hands of his assistant coaches, led by offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, “I just think that it’s really tough that if you have to make a close call, I would just hate for somebody on our staff to have to make that close call and get criticized for it if it didn’t work. Because I don’t think that’s fair to them, if you know what I mean.”

The Crimson Tide football program issued a statement Thursday that read, “Coach Saban was evaluated by our team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson today. 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.”

Alabama (3-0, 3-0 SEC) will look for its sixth consecutive win over Georgia (3-0, 3-0).

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