Nick Saban keeping Alabama football normal after postponement of LSU game
The SEC football schedule for the weekend is crumbling around it, but all is relatively normal in Alabama’s football operation. UA coach Nick Saban said the team had, “maybe one,” positive COVID-19 test in the last week, and practice schedule is remaining mostly unchanged.
Alabama will not play LSU this Saturday, as the Tigers have too many scholarship players either testing positive for COVID-19 or in contact tracing, but its operation will continue on undisturbed. Saban is keeping UA’s practice schedule the same this week, and likely adding a Saturday practice to maintain game week rhythm, as UA looks forward to next week’s game against Kentucky.
“We expected disruptions this season. How we handle them is probably the most important thing right now,” Saban said on the SEC teleconference Wednesday morning.
UA’s game against LSU is now the fourth SEC game to be postponed this weekend, joining Auburn-Mississippi State, Georgia-Missouri and Texas A&M-Tennessee. In several cases, LSU’s included, the issue has not been a rash of positive tests but more so the contact tracing required by SEC protocol.
“I think we knew the social tracing part of this would be a bigger issue than the testing,” Saban said. “The testing, you know exactly what you get; the social tracing part, it’s a safety issue we have to go through, but you’re quarantining people and you don’t even know if they’re sick or not. That’s the part that’s a little more difficult to manage.”
While UA has yet to be heavily impacted during the season by positive tests, he knows the threat is imminent, especially as UA released players to their hometowns over the previous open weekend.
“Everybody trusts their family, I trust my family, but nobody knows where Uncle Tommy’s been, either,” Saban said. “The other option is don’t let the players go any place, which is kind of a punishment. Most of the players wanted to go see their families.”
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson