TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama Coach Nick Saban has tested negative in a follow-up test for COVID-19, leaving open the possibility of a return to the sideline for the Georgia game.

Alabama head athletic trainer Jeff Allen said Saban’s test came back negative on Thursday. If he tests negative again Friday and Saturday, Saban would be allowed on the sidelines for the second-ranked Crimson Tide’s Southeastern Conference showdown with No. 3 Georgia Saturday night.

Allen said the PCR test Thursday was conducted by the SEC-appointed lab. He said Wednesday’s initial positive result came from an outside lab Alabama has “used to supplement the SEC mandated testing.”

The PCR test is considered the preferred method of testing for COVID-19 as identified by the NCAA’s Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines.

“He will continue to remain in isolation and receive daily PCR tests,” Allen said. “Should he have three negative PCR tests through the SEC appointed lab, each 24 hours apart, the initial test would be considered a false positive pursuant to SEC protocols and he would be allowed to return.”

Allen said Saban has remained asymptomatic and hasn’t had a fever. But unless Saban tests negative again Friday and Saturday, he will remain sidelined for the game against the Bulldogs.

Saban and Athletic Director Greg Byrne tested positive on Wednesday. The 68-year-old coach has continued to work from home and has been able to relay messages during practice via team managers.

KANSAS: Coach Les Miles has been cleared to return to the Jayhawks after his positive test for COVID-19, but out of caution is skipping the team’s trip to West Virginia for Saturday’s game.

The 66-year-old Miles announced last week that routine testing had returned a positive test. He experienced only mild symptoms while he was quarantining, and he was able to work remotely with the Jayhawks during their bye week.

Miles said he made the “difficult decision” after conferring with the school’s medical team, coaching staff and administration.

“While my 10-day window was completed this morning, there is too much still unknown about this virus for me to feel 100% confident that I won’t transmit it to someone who comes into close contact with me,” he said.

POSTPONEMENT: Southern Mississippi at UTEP became the sixth game scheduled for Saturday to be postponed this week.

Southern Miss announced that an increase in its positive COVID-19 test results forced the postponement between the two Conference USA schools.

Earlier in the week, C-USA announced it was pushing back the date of its conference championship game to Dec. 18 to allow more time to make up postponed games. There have been 32 games involving FBS teams canceled or postponed since Aug. 26.

SEC: The Southeastern Conference postponed next week’s game between Missouri and No. 10 Florida, the third league contest moved this week because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

The Gators had at least 21 players and coaches test positive for the coronavirus and dozens more quarantined because of contract tracing. That left them with fewer than the conference-mandated 53 scholarship players available for a game that was originally scheduled for Saturday against defending national champion LSU.

Because of the SEC’s safety protocols, Florida likely would not have gotten everyone back in time to practice and prepare for a game next weekend. So the Gators will get consecutive weeks off before hosting Missouri on Oct. 31. That had initially been an off week for Florida.

Missouri had been scheduled to host Kentucky that day, but will now play the Wildcats next Saturday. Kentucky was scheduled to play at Georgia that day, but that game moves to Halloween.

Florida and LSU are tentatively scheduled to play Dec. 12. Missouri and Vanderbilt are slated for the same day after their game this week got postponed because of an outbreak within Vandy’s program.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

KANSAS: Silvio de Sousa is opting out of the upcoming college basketball season, potentially ending what has been one of the most controversial tenures of any player to have joined Coach Bill Self’s program.

Self said in a statement that de Sousa, a forward, is opting out to “focus on matters in his personal life.” Self added that it became clear in recent workouts that de Sousa was distracted, and after the two of them talked recently, “it was clear this was the best decision for him and Kansas basketball to leave the program.”

De Sousa said in a statement on social media that he is unsure what direction his career will take him.

De Sousa joined the Jayhawks midway through the 2017-18 season and helped them to reach the Final Four. But he was forced to sit out the next season amid eligibility questions after his name surfaced in the FBI probe into college basketball corruption, then served a 12-game suspension last year for his role in a brawl against Kansas State.

FRIDAY’S GAME

(17) SMU 37, TULANE 34: Brandon Crossley ended the first overtime possession with an interception and Chris Naggar made a 34-yard field goal to give the Mustangs (5-0, 3-0 American Athletic) a win over the Green Wave (2-3, 0-3) in New Orleans.

Tulane rallied to force overtime on Merek Glover’s 27-yard field goal with 1:30 left.

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