College Football

Alabama’s Saban, AD Greg Byrne test positive for COVID-19

Alabama coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and is self-isolating at home, the university announced.

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne also tested positive on Wednesday, according to the school.

“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.”

Saban, 68, said he informed his players of his positive test in a Zoom call at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations for Saturday night’s home game against No. 3 Georgia “while I work from home,” Saban said. Sarkisian was the head coach at Washington from 2009 to 2013 and USC in 2014-15.

Alabama plans to test everybody within the football program on Thursday. Alabama went to daily testing for its players back in September.

“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive,” Byrne said. “Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you.”

Alabama team physicians Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allen said Saban and Byrne were the only two individuals who tested positive “at this point in time,” and that the school would follow the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives.

CDC guidelines say those with positive tests must isolate for 10 days, while contact tracing requires a 14-day quarantine.

Saban is one of a handful of FBS head coaches to test positive for the coronavirus. Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin, FSU’s Mike Norvell, Kansas’ Les Miles, Toledo’s Jason Candle and Arkansas State’s Blake Anderson previously announced positive tests.

ESPN’s Chris Low contributed to this report.

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