Alabama coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID ahead of Iron Bowl, has mild symptoms

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FILE – In this Aug. 31, 2020, file photo, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban leads his team as they march on campus, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The mid-week news that Alabama coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19 added a challenging backdrop for the season’s first Top 5 matchup. Saban figures to be communicating his marching orders and input from home while offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is manning the show within the football building. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 just days before the Iron Bowl.

Team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson and head trainer Jeff Allen said in a joint statement that the positive test came Wednesday morning.

“He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a potential false positive,” the statement said. “He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home.”

The 69-year-old Saban previously received a false positive ahead of the game with Georgia, but didn’t have any symptoms. He was cleared to coach in the game after subsequent tests leading up to the game came out negative.

Elsewhere, No. 7 Cincinnati’s game at Temple this weekend was canceled because both teams are dealing with COVID-19 issues.

The American Athletic Conference said the game scheduled for Saturday could not be made up on Dec. 5, even though both teams have an open date, because the league’s protocols “would not allow for a sufficient number of players to be available for competition on that day.”

The unbeaten and conference-leading Bearcats’ next game is scheduled for Dec. 12 at No. 24 Tulsa, which had its game scheduled for Saturday against Houston postponed because the Cougars have been hit by the virus.

Tulsa is also unbeaten in conference play and with a victory next week against Navy it would clinch a spot in the AAC championship against Cincinnati.

Cincinnati-Temple is the 11th game this week to be postponed or canceled across major college football.

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