TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Normally ESPN College GameDay would bring scores of fans out to the walk of champions, to crowd around the set and hype up the atmosphere. But this season coronavirus has impacted more than just the fanfare, it’s affecting the availability of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban.
Trucks parked next to Bryant Denny Stadium this morning to unload equipment for ESPN College GameDay. The GameDay set is being arranged inside the stadium. COVID-19 means fewer fans are allowed inside the stadium for the game and even no fans around the set and the GameDay hosts.
The virus also took some of the focus off the game when Nick Saban tested positive for it on Wednesday. Saban must test negative for coronavirus three straight days before he will be allowed on the sideline to coach Alabama again. WBRC asked ESPN’s Rece Davis what could be missing for the team if Nick Saban isn’t able to be there.
“Nick is such a commanding presence on the sideline. As much as people enjoy the occasional eruption, I think just as important is his steady resolve in the face of calm when things go poorly,” Davis told reporters earlier in the day.
Saban has been self isolating at home since testing positive Wednesday. We’re told he remains asymptomatic and without fever.