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What’s next for college football after so many coronavirus cases in SEC?

Nick Saban follows all of the protocols.

The Alabama coach was rarely, if ever, spotted on the sidelines without a mask. He kept socially distant, at least in public, and he says he washed his hands often. He appeared in social media advertisements encouraging the public to follow CDC guidelines, and he preached to his players to keep their distance from everyone—you never know, he told them, who could be infected.

In fact, Alabama is one of the few football programs currently playing to have administered daily testing of its staff and players. That includes Saban.

And then, on Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m., despite all of the precautions, he tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I was very surprised by this,” Saban told reporters on a Zoom call Wednesday, hours after his test result.

Saban is, for now, asymptomatic. He feels fine, he says, and will continue to work from home while awaiting a second test result to potentially confirm the first. With the test confirmation, the 68-year-old will miss what is the biggest game, to this point, of the college football season, when No. 3 Georgia visits No. 2 Alabama on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. He will not be allowed to communicate with players or coaches. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, a former head coach himself, is expected to fill in.

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