Less than 24 hours after the school announced that both Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne had both tested positive for COVID-19, another prominent Alabama head coach said Thursday that he’s also battled the coronavirus in recent months.
Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats told reporters that he tested positive for COVID-19 in July.
“Luckily for me, I got COVID back in July, so I don’t have to worry about it really, too much, anymore,” Oats told reporters during his season-opening virtual news conference. “Technically, I don’t have to wear a mask, but I try to wear a mask whenever I’m around people just to set the standard that that’s what we’re going to do to try to abide by everything.”
Oats also said members of his team had to be quarantined last month due to positive tests.
The news comes shortly after Saban’s diagnosis on Wednesday, which could jeopardize his status for Saturday’s high-profile matchup between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia in Tuscaloosa.
Oats told reporters he believed he contracted the virus from his teenage daughter. He said he had headaches prior to his positive diagnosis. He also said that he had not been around Saban of late.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” Oats said. “I mean, shoot, it’s maybe the biggest football game in the SEC this year and the best coach in the SEC is maybe not gonna be able to coach the game. That’s unfortunate for everyone involved, in my opinion.”