Alabama Head Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Iron Bowl match-up with Auburn
According to a statement released by the university, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team's match-up against long-time rival Auburn University. This is the second time Saban has tested positive for the virus according ot team doctors. Saban was reported to have received the positive test Wednesday morning and is showing "very mild symptoms." Because Saban is symptomatic, the test will not be categorized as a false positive.
Saban is scheduled to recover in home-isolation for at least 10 days and could return as early as Dec. 4, in time for the team's final game at Arkansas. However, this occurrence will cause coach Saban to miss this year's Iron Bowl - a yearly test of will as well as a fight for bragging rights in the state. Saban, now 69, expressed his regret in a recent interview. "I'm the only individual in the organization that tested positive on this round, Saban said.
In Saban's absence, head-coaching duties will be turned over to offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian who has held the top position at both USC and Washington.
Sarkisian, a former quarterback at BYU, has nearly 20 years of coaching experience in both the NFL and college ranks, has a career head coaching record of 46-35 (.568)
Alabama has a winning record and leads the series with Auburn 46–37–1. The game is traditionally played on Thanksgiving weekend. In 1993, the schools agreed to move the game up to the week before Thanksgiving to give themselves a bye for a potential SEC Championship Game berth. In 2007 the conference voted to disallow any team from having a bye before the league championship game, returning the game to its traditional Thanksgiving weekend spot.