Nick Saban and the unexpected results

How Nick Saban Found The Silver Lining of COVID-19

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Donovan Lee, Assistant Sports Editor

The biggest game of the season for the Crimson Tide had an unexpected result last week. The Alabama Crimson Tide were set to face off with the Georgia Bulldogs, Alabama head coach Nick Saban delivered the bad results to the media days before game-day. 

 

National reporter Tom Rinaldi was alongside Saban when the head coach was informed on Wednesday that PCR results returned positive from a Tuesday testing. Their encounter was cut short and both men immediately began the quarantine protocol. Just days before the game, it seemed as though the Crimson Tide would go into battle against one of their most formidable opponents without their esteemed leader.

 

Little did the rest of the country know, because of a prior COVID-19 situation at another university just a month prior, league medical committee members had discussed and instituted a policy that dealt with what was deemed as a “false positive” COVID-19 test. With the resources that Alabama possesses, they put this policy to the test for the sake of their coach.

 

In paraphrasing, the policy, which is a whopping 150 words, states that if someone tests positive for the virus, they can retest three more times within 24 hours of each test. If all three tests return negative, the person does not have to continue the protocols for testing positive.

 

Nick Saban’s retest process was conducted on Thursday and Friday, with the last test being administered on Saturday morning before the game. Pushing the deadline, the final test was taken to a laboratory in Mobile, AL, around 7:00 a.m. The results returned within four hours, prompting an immediate public statement being released declaring Nick Saban cleared of the virus and available to coach on the Alabama sidelines during their big matchup. 

 

This specific scenario will be the front of national discussion for the days, weeks, and months to come. Questions have already been raised about the speediness of his positive to negative results, as well as what this could mean for the rest of the country moving forward with COVID-19 protocols. The crazy thing is: five days before Saban’s case, the policy did not even exist.