Alabama basketball coach Nate Oats revealed Thursday in a Zoom call with reporters that he tested positive for COVID-19 in July and has since recovered from the illness. His announcement comes less than 24 hours after the school’s football coach and its athletic director, Nick Saban and Greg Byrne, respectively, both revealed they had tested positive for the disease and are self-isolating at home.
Oats said he experienced only mild symptoms throughout his bout with the coronavirus, and that he wouldn’t have known he was sick with it if they weren’t testing healthy people “because the minor symptoms I had.”
“When I got it, very asymptomatic,” Oats said via AL.com. “I wouldn’t have known I was sick if they weren’t testing healthy people. Because the minor symptoms I had, I kind of just worked through and didn’t even realize it was COVID.
“I had a dull headache for a few days, which literally I worked right through until I got tested and realized. I had the headache when I was out of the state. When I got back in the state, I tested before I could work with the team and that day I got back, the symptoms were gone and I tested positive.”
Saban’s positive test came just three days before one of the most anticipated matchups of the college football season, with No. 2 Alabama set to host No. 3 Georgia on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. In revealing his own personal experience, Oats also addressed Saban and Byrnes’s diagnosis, calling the development “unfortunate.”
“I mean, shoot, it’s maybe the biggest football game in the SEC this year and the best coach in the SEC is maybe not gonna be able to coach the game,” he said. “That’s unfortunate for everyone involved, in my opinion.”