| USA TODAY
Has COVID-19 impacted college football finances? Our 5 biggest findings from our coaches compensation database
SportsPulse: COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on much of the U.S. economy. How has it impacted college football coaches? According to our annual coaches compensation database, head coaches at Power Five conferences haven’t taken a big hit.
After testing positive earlier this week for COVID-19, Alabama coach Nick Saban has been cleared by SEC testing protocol to resume normal activities and will be on the sideline when the No. 2 Crimson Tide play No. 3 Georgia, the university said Saturday.
“Due to the fact that Coach Saban has remained completely symptom-free and had five negative PCR tests, split between two separate labs, the initial test from Wednesday is considered a false positive under the SEC protocols,” Alabama team physician Dr. Jimmy Robinson said in a statement.
“In 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 had been asymptomatic since testing positive Wednesday, leaving open the possibility that he could be given the green light to return before Saturday night, according to the testing protocols outlined by the SEC’s Medical Guidance Task Force.
Those guidelines call for three tests in the wake of an initial positive: one less than 24 hours later and an additional pair at least 24 hours apart.
Alabama announced Friday that Saban was tested again Thursday by the SEC’s appointed lab and was negative. The school also confirmed that Wednesday’s positive test was performed by an outside lab.
He was cleared following negative results on Friday and Saturday. Per the conference protocols, the initial test is considered a false positive and Saban can resume normal activities.
KEY MATCHUP: What’s at stake for No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Georgia
Saban had been in isolation and working remotely to help Alabama prepare for Georgia, in a game projected to have a significant impact on the College Football Playoff.
The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are the only two unbeaten teams in the SEC and two of only six Power Five teams without a loss. Alabama has won all five meetings in the series since 2008, including an overtime win in early 2018 to claim the program’s fifth national championship under Saban.
Follow USA TODAY Sports colleges reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg