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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Tide’s Saban assessments Positive for virus, will miss Iron Bowl

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The Iron Bowl might be with out its greatest star.

No. 1 Alabama’s iconic coach Nick Saban examined Positive for COVID-19 simply earlier than the sport with No. 22 Auburn. Since he was experiencing delicate signs, it seems there will not be a false Positive reprieve for Saban like there was final month earlier than one other large sport in opposition to Georgia.


Staff doctor Dr. Jimmy Robinson and head coach Jeff Allen stated in a joint assertion that the Positive check got here Wednesday.

“He has very delicate signs, so this check won’t be categorized as a possible false Positive,” the assertion stated. “He’ll observe all applicable pointers and isolate at dwelling.”

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The Crimson Tide is about to face its greatest rival Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium with out the 69-year-old, six-time nationwide champion coach. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, a former head coach at USC and Washington, will oversee preparations inside the soccer constructing and lead the crew on sport day. 

Saban stated he has had a runny nostril, however no main signs. When he examined Positive forward of the sport with Georgia, he didn’t have any signs. Saban ended up being cleared to teach in that sport after subsequent assessments main as much as the sport got here again adverse.

This time seems completely different.

“It was a PCR check which was completely different than the false Positive that I had earlier than,” Saban stated on the Southeastern Convention coaches teleconference. “I do not actually have any cardinal indicators of the virus proper now. I haven’t got a fever, no lack of style or scent, no fatigue, no muscle aches. 

“I knowledgeable the crew this morning at 10 on a zoom name. I am the one individual in the entire group who examined Positive this spherical.” 


Saban will nonetheless run conferences and monitor apply through zoom at dwelling like he did forward of the Georgia sport. Sarkisian will nonetheless name offensive performs in the course of the sport, however Saban stated different particulars had been nonetheless to be ironed out. 

“Final time I did this for 3 days, I completely did the whole lot from dwelling that I did within the workplace,” Saban stated. “I simply did it on zoom.”

Saban stated he has no concept how he obtained the virus, and it wasn’t instantly clear if anyone else inside the program might be affected due to shut contact. Saban believes that is unlikely “primarily based on how we handle issues internally within the constructing.”

“I am round no one. I imply, I’m going dwelling and I’m going to the workplace,” Saban stated. “I do not know. Now, there are some individuals out and in of our home occasionally, however I do not know how this occurred. We actually apply social tracing, social distancing, all of the issues that we have to do to be secure. 

“We’re all the time six ft aside in conferences. We have now workers conferences in massive rooms. Everyone seems to be required and all of us put on masks. Gamers all put on masks in conferences.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn figures dealing with Alabama with out Saban on the other sideline would be the newest weird facet to “a very bizarre yr.”

“I hope his signs will not be extreme or something. Hope he makes a speedy restoration,” Malzahn stated. “It should be a very bizarre deal enjoying the Iron Bowl with out Nick being there.”

“Simply one other signal of a really uncommon season.”


Saban is one SEC regular-season victory away from tying ex-Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier for second most within the historical past of the convention. Spurrier’s 131 SEC wins trails solely Alabama legend Bear Bryant (159).

Whereas Alabama was hopeful the Tide will nonetheless be capable of play on Saturday, one other top-10 crew had its sport canceled Thursday.

No. 7 Cincinnati will not play at Temple as a result of each groups are coping with COVID-19 points.

The American Athletic Convention stated the sport scheduled couldn’t be made up on Dec. 5, though each groups have an open date, as a result of the league’s protocols “wouldn’t permit for a ample variety of gamers to be obtainable for competitors on that day.”

The unbeaten and conference-leading Bearcats’ subsequent sport is scheduled for Dec. 12 at No. 24 Tulsa, which additionally had its Saturday sport in opposition to Houston postponed as a result of the Cougars have been hit by the virus.

Tulsa can be unbeaten in convention play and with a victory subsequent week in opposition to Navy it might clinch a spot within the AAC championship in opposition to Cincinnati.

Cincinnati-Temple is the 11th sport this week to be postponed or canceled throughout main school soccer.

With viruses {cases} on the rise from coast-to-coast in November, school soccer has confronted rising disruptions. This month 54 video games immediately impacted by COVID-19 points for one of many groups have been postponed or canceled.


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