USA NOW Sportsman Paul Myerberg breaks down how Nick Saban̵

7;s positive COVID-19 test will affect the entire college football scene.


Alabama coach Nick Saban was quarantined at home after testing positive Wednesday for COVID-19, far helped in the preparation of No. 2 Crimson Tide for Saturday’s game against No. 3 Georgia.

While he has no symptoms, Saban can be avoided playing any role in the game itself, according to the guidelines and restrictions outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the SEC and the NCAA.

There is a way for Saban to clear to get back on the sidelines before kickoff, however.

The SEC’s Medical Guidance Guide Team has created protective and quarantine protocols for asymptomatic cases that will allow an individual to “return to sporting activities” within three days of initial positive testing. .

According to the guidelines, a positive result without symptoms will be followed less than 24 hours later with a second test. If that test is positive, “it will confirm an active infection in COVID-19.”

If the second test is negative, the individual will take an additional two tests at least 24 hours apart. If all three tests return negative, the individual may resume normal behavior under a surveillance testing program.

In Saban’s case, a positive test Wednesday had to be followed by a negative result Thursday, another negative Friday and then a third before Saturday night.

The University of Alabama’s communications department announced Friday night that Saban was re-tested on Thursday by the SEC’s designated and negative lab. The school also confirmed that the positive test on Wednesday was conducted by an outside lab.

Saban has been tested for COVID-19 twice since his original positive test on Wednesday. (Athletics director Greg Byrne also tested positive). Alabama is working with the SEC on the Saban clearing protocol to return to the sideline in time for Saturday’s game, if tests are negative, someone familiar with the situation told Tuscaloosa News on Friday.

The person requested anonymity because they were not allowed to speak in public because the school did not make an official announcement.

The CDC recommends that individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should remain isolated and “stay at home until they can safely be with others.” This includes individuals without symptoms.

According to NCAA rules 1-11-4-b, “voice communication” with coaching staff is limited “between the press box and the team area,” which eliminates the option to serve Saban as head. Alabama coach from his home or a suite. inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Offensive Alabama journalist Steve Sarkisian will serve as interim head coach without Saban, the school said Wednesday.

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In an accepted interpretation of this policy, the limits will be extended to also prohibit the use of computers or other technologies to exceed the ban on voice communication.

This ban will begin 90 minutes before the kickoff begins, or approximately 6:30 pm ET, until the managing staff “declares the final score.”

Asking about the rule, Saban said in his radio show on Thursday that “there must be a better way to do that. … I don’t want to be in the game on Saturday if that happens.”

Saban said he was “very enthusiastic” but did not refer to any specific tests he took since Wednesday.

Alabama did not release test results conducted on the players; the school has not shared that information since the coronavirus pandemic started. Saban said on Wednesday that there was no indication of an outbreak on the list. Alabama recently played Ole Miss, with an unannounced number of positive tests this week.

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Last month, a positive test prevented Florida State coach Mike Norvell from teaching the Seminoles game against Miami. Norvell ended his relationship with his team when the team left Hard Rock Stadium, when he was replaced by assistant coach Chris Thomsen.

Kansas coach Les Miles will not travel to Saturday’s game against West Virginia after a positive test and showing symptoms, the school said Friday.

“While my 10-day separation window was completed this morning,” Miles said in a statement, “many still do not know about the virus for me to feel 100 percent confident that I will not be able to send it to a people who will be in close contact with me on the team charter, hotel or in the game Saturday. “

Contributor: Brett Hudson, Tuscaloosa News

Follow USA TODAY college sports reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg


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