NCAA rule dictates whether Nick Saban will be able to communicate with Alabama on Saturday
If Alabama is going to be able to take down Georgia on Saturday, they’ll have to do so without any communication from coach Nick Saban during game time.
An NCAA rule (tweeted by ESPN’s Alex Scarborough) has determined that Saban, who tested positive for COVID-19, can’t have any contact with the Crimson Tide starting at 90 minutes from kickoff. Saban can’t give a halftime speech or relay any adjustments either.
Florida State coach Mike Norvell, who also tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this season, had to follow the same guidelines as well.
Prior to the explanation of the rule, Saban was holding out hope he’d be able to communicate with the team.
“Obviously, Sark’s been a head coach before, and I’m not sure exactly how this is going to play out in terms of when the game comes, whether I can have communication with people or not. We’ll have to research and sort of figure that one out, ” Saban said.
Saban was a remote participant from his Tuscaloosa home on Wednesday for Alabama’s practice. The six-time national championship coach gained a new perspective observing practice from afar.
“I got to see a lot more because when you look at it wide-angle you see a lot more than when you’re just standing on the field. But I thought the intensity was good, the focus was good, the players were trying to get it right,” Saban said. “So I didn’t really see anything any different. I can tell you, we’ve had a lot worse practices when I’m there, so maybe it was a good thing that I wasn’t there.”
While Saban won’t be able to lend his voice, you can be certain Alabama will be extra motivated to capture the victory in honor of their legendary coach.