Alabama coach Nick Saban has questioned the NCAA rule that prohibits him from training remotely during Saturday’s game against Georgia.
Saban, who passed the COVID-19 test on Wednesday, still left open the possibility of being at Bryant Danny Stadium for the game – presumably if his test is found to be false positive.
“The protocol is that if you’re in quarantine, you can̵7;t have remote access to the sidelines, and you can’t go to the game, even if they put you in an isolated area. So, never thinking about it – and I I’m not criticizing here – if you’re the head coach, there should be a better way to do it.
“I don’t know exactly what it is. But there must be a better way to do it. You have to have some connection with the party as I communicate with someone on the field during practice. I can” You can’t talk directly to a player, but I can say, “Tell 22 that he had to redirect the guy,” or whatever.
“You can’t have any of that. This does not seem quite right. I think you could do without an assistant if you had to. It may be a little harder if the coordinator called for performances, or you may not have someone who can do it or be experienced in the state. ”
Saban’s comments came during his weekly radio show on Thursday night, when he appeared from his home office a week after his first personal appearance at a local restaurant.
NCAA regulations only allow voice communication between the press office and the sideline. In an interpretation of the rules specifically for quarantine coaches in 2020, written last month by college college national coordinator Steve Shaw, this means that ” [quarantined] the coach could not call the press box or the sideline for anything related to the coaching goal of the show – an Alabama graduate and former chairman of the collaboration committee.
“I just think it’s really hard that if you had to make a close call, I would just hate that one of our staff would have to make such a vigilant call and criticize for it if it didn’t help,” Saban continued. “Because I don’t think it’s fair to them if you understand what I mean.
“I am being criticized. I understand the game. If you call and it works and it works, it’s a good call. If you call but it doesn’t work, it’s a bad call. It’s that simple. I understood that. But if an assistant from your staff has to make one of these types of calls, and if that doesn’t work, I’d be upset to see someone criticized for something that probably shouldn’t even be their responsibility. “
Sabana was then asked why the old rule banning most gaming technology could not be changed under special circumstances in 2020.
“Well, there are people smarter than me who can make certain decisions,” Saban said. “I’m not criticizing anyone, but I’d be upset not to be in the game on Saturday – if that’s what it turns out to be – and I’d hate not being, at least to have a headset where I could communicate with the parties, even if you’re in press side isolated.
“Even if you couldn’t go into the locker room and talk to the players, you can still zoom in with the players. So, there are ways to do it where you are not threatening anyone. But I also really believe in the safety of everyone, not just our team players or coaches. So there should be some logistics that can be developed so that you can do something like that. “
Saban also reiterated that attack coordinator Steve Sargsyan, a former head coach for Washington and the United States, would lead the team in his absence.
“Our contingency plan, because of the experience we have in the state, would be that Sark was a guy who was the head coach, made similar decisions in the past,” he said. “I think we are very close philosophically in terms of how we think about these situations. He is a very smart guy. He is all the time [was] head coach, he was a participant in the game. So it will not affect him from this point of view. It won’t take away his ability to trigger games. “
Mike Rodak is an Alabama Media Group reporter. Follow him on Twitter @mikerodak.