TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been cleared to return to the team after testing positive for the coronavirus earlier this week.
The Southeastern Conference announced Saturday that Saban is allowed to coach the second-ranked Crimson Tide against No. 3 Georgia after three consecutive negative COVID-19 tests.
"Upon being notified by the University of Alabama of a potential positive COVID-19 test result involving Nick Saban, the SEC office provided and reviewed with the university the COVID-19 management requirements established by the SEC's Medical Guidance Task Force and emphasized the need to comply with all local and state health policies," the SEC said in a statement. "Consistent with the conference's COVID-19 management requirements, PAE, the third-party provider secured by the SEC to standardize and provide testing for the 14 member institutions, has utilized the authorized laboratory in processing and reporting the three tests 24 hours apart as necessary to satisfy the requirements of the task force policy regarding the handling of asymptomatic PCR positive tests."
Saban, who has won five national championships with the Crimson Tide, told ESPN's "College GameDay" that he has not exhibited any symptoms of COVID-19. He said that, aside from Wednesday's positive test, all other tests were negative.
Saturday's game pits Alabama (3-0, 3-0 SEC) against Georgia (3-0, 3-0) in a battle of undefeated teams and a leg up in the conference championship race.
The Bulldogs are coached by Saban discipline Kirby Smart. Saban is 20-0 against his former assistants.