Nick Saban frustrated over being cut off during Alabama-Georgia showdown

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You will play as much of a role in play-calling as Nick Saban during Saturday’s Alabama-Georgia showdown.

Expected to be absent from the sidelines during the battle between the SEC’s top two teams after testing positive for COVID-19, Saban is frustrated that he will not be permitted to communicate with his staff during the game, as he has been remotely during practices this week. Saban is currently asymptomatic and isolating at home.

“If you’re the head coach, there ought to be a better way to do it,” Saban said on his radio show on Thursday. “I don’t know exactly what that is, but there should be a better way to do that. You ought to be able to have some communication with the sidelines just like I have communication with somebody on the field during practice.

“I can’t directly talk to a player, but I can say, ‘Tell 22 that he was supposed to reroute the guy,’ or whatever. You can’t have any of that, and that doesn’t seem quite right.”

Coaches are allowed to talk with staff on the sideline from the press box, but NCAA rules prohibit communication from another location. Former USC coach Steve Sarkisian will serve as Alabama’s interim coach in Saban’s place, marking the first time the Crimson Tide will be led by someone different since 2006.

That is, unless former Heisman winner Desmond Howard’s prediction comes true.

The ESPN analyst tweeted Friday that he believes Saban will be coaching from the sideline on Saturday. Howard offered no evidence or reasoning for his claim.

Saban would only be allowed to be in the stadium if he tested negative for three straight days. The legendary coach first tested positive on Wednesday.

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