Tom Rinaldi recalls being in the building when Nick Saban found out the positive test
One of the more unique perspectives of Alabama coach Nick Saban receiving news about his positive COVID-19 test results came from ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi, who was in the building when it was told to Saban.
Rinaldi recalled the experience during a segment on the ESPN Radio program “Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin.”
“It was a wild week, obviously,” Rinaldi said. “From being with him in the adjacent staff room, to his office when the door opened and Jeff Allen popped in, ushered coach out, and we then knew what happened, left the facility immediately, told that he tested positive.”
Rinaldi then shared that Saban had five separate tests that went to two separate labs, and 240 other tests were given to players and staff members and came back negative. Rinaldi said Saban’s final negative test last week on Saturday was flown to a SEC lab in Mobile, Alabama.
“He gets that news, he makes a bee line to the team hotel, which is across the street from the football building in Tuscaloosa on campus, and essentially begins to rejoin meetings immediately,” Rinaldi said.
Rinaldi added that QB Mac Jones was sitting in a quarterback meeting, and Saban’s arrival, “He felt like it electrified the room. We heard the same comment from Dylan Moses, one of the defensive leaders for the Tide. … To see Saban come back to the team, all of the players and the staff said gave them a surge of confidence and a bolt of inspiration and they played that way.”
Rinaldi also recalled how Saban remained involved in every aspect of preparation.
“He was plugged in and remained hopeful that he could rejoin the team,” Rinaldi said.