Alabama coach Nick Saban is what you would call a “hands-on” individual. There’s another way to describe his coaching and leadership style: controlling. He wants to control every aspect of his football program, and it’s worked wonderfully, as he’s led the Crimson Tide to five national championships. One thing out of his control, though, is the coronavirus, and it tackled Saban and Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne, as both have tested positive for COVID-19.
“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.”
Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will take over as interim head coach, and Alabama players should not let their guard down because Saban said he will continue to be involved from home. So far Saban is symptom-free, so the length of his quarantine could be shorter than 14 days. The good news for the program is that Saban and Byrne are the only ones to test positive, and the plan is for every player in the program to get tested on Thursday.
Saban’s positive test for COVID-19 makes him the most high-profile person in college sports, and maybe all of American sports, to announce it publicly. On Tuesday, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo announced that he had tested positive.
Alabama has a huge football game this weekend, which Saban will be watching from home. His N0. 2-ranked Crimson Tide takes on fourth-ranked Georgia. The game is still on. For now.