Nick Saban shares thoughts on potentially postponing National Championship Game due to COVID-19
With Ohio State struggling to slow the spread of COVID-19 within its program, talk of pushing the National Championship Game against Alabama back began to swirl.
Based on recent updates from the Buckeyes, it appears they’re healthy enough to give it a go on Monday against the Crimson Tide. However, that hasn’t slowed down the questioning to the coaches about what pushing the game back would’ve meant.
The most recent example of that came on Thursday during Nick Saban’s media availability.
Nick Saban's full answer when asked about the importance of not pushing back the national championship game. pic.twitter.com/DCcPAW2HgZ
— Colin Hass-Hill (@chasshill) January 7, 2021
There’s a decent amount to unpack here based on this full answer. Saban starts by covering his rear by making sure it’s known that he believes in player safety above all else. That’s probably true but something Saban has to say either way to avoid some serious backlash.
The meat of this answer, however, is surrounding the logistics of pushing the game back. As Saban says, the second semester is starting up at Alabama, which means an influx of students returning to campus. That seems like a recipe for disaster when it comes to handling the spread of COVID-19 within your program.
On top of that, the Crimson Tide has nearly played a regular schedule, unlike Ohio State. It’s safe to say Alabama players have taken their fair amount of nicks during this season. Another week of practice could’ve made that even worse.
As for the players, it would’ve made things a bit more challenging. Jan. 18 would’ve likely been the date the game was pushed back to. That’s also the deadline for players to announce whether they’re entering the draft.
It seems that college football scheduling is a logistical nightmare without a global pandemic. But in this day and age, it seems like even more of a headache. Having the National Championship Game remain in its scheduled date probably makes the lives of many much easier.