The University of Alabama Athletics Department on Wednesday announced that head football coach Nick Saban and Director of Athletics Greg Byrne have both tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Early this afternoon, we received notification that Coach Saban and Greg Byrne tested positive for COVID-19. Both immediately left the facility and went to their homes to self-isolate after receiving that information,” said a joint statement from Dr. Jimmy Robinson and Jeff Allen, associate athletics director for sports medicine.
“At this point in time, the positive tests are limited to those two individuals. All individuals who are considered high risk contacts have been notified and will follow quarantine guidelines. We will follow the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol for testing asymptomatic positives,” they continued.
In a statement, Saban said he is currently experiencing no symptoms.
“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” the legendary coach said. “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. I informed our team of my positive test at 2 p.m. today on a Zoom call and let them know offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home.”
Byrne stressed that the department and the program have been diligently following heightened protocols for health and safety.
“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive,” the AD advised. “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.”
This comes after Alabama’s opponent from this past Saturday, Ole Miss, earlier on Wednesday revealed they are experiencing “an issue” with positive COVID-19 tests right now.
The No. 2 Crimson Tide is currently set to face No. 3 Georgia on Saturday.
Saban addressed the media via videoconference on Wednesday evening.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn