Alabama’s team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson released a statement hours before the marquee matchup between the Nos. 2 and 3 teams, respectively, in the nation.
“Because Coach Saban remained asymptomatic, he received PCR testing at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and today though the SEC appointed lab. Each of those tests were negative and were reported via the SEC’s third-party testing provider to the conference office in Birmingham. Those three negative tests satisfied the SEC protocol for a false positive. Out of abundance of caution, two additional PCR tests were administered at the same time on Thursday and Friday and were tested by a separate lab. Those tests were also negative,” Robinson said in a statement.
“Due to the fact that Coach Saban has remained completely symptom-free and had five negative PCR testes, split between two separate labs, the initial test from Wednesday is considered a false positive under SEC protocols. Again, that initial positive result came from an outside lab we’ve used to supplement the SEC mandated testing. We have been in constant communication with the conference office throughout this process to ensure compliance with all applicable protocols. In all accordance with the SEC Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force Protocol and with the approval of The University of Alabama System Health and Safety Task Force, Coach Saban is medically cleared to safely return to activity effective immediately.”
Saban said Saturday on ESPN’s “College Gameday” he was not showing any symptoms.
The 68-year-old coach has been a proponent of mask wearing and other health guidelines while the nation combats the coronavirus outbreak.