Saban expects to return to sidelines for Alabama-LSU

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Alabama coach Nick Saban expects to be back on the sidelines Saturday at LSU.

Saban, who tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday, had to watch the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s 42-13 victory over rival Auburn from home over the weekend while offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian ran the show.

“I’m feeling fine, so you don’t need to worry about me,” Saban said on Monday. “And just to make it clear, I’ll be evaluated by the medical staff later in the week and they’ll make a determination as to when I come back. But I don’t anticipate any problems in being able to coach the game this week.”

The 69-year-old coach has said he had only mild symptoms and no fever. The Southeastern Conference requires those with positive tests to remain isolated for at least 10 days from when they first started experiencing symptoms. They have to have gone at least 24 hours without a fever before being allowed to return.

That gives Saban a window to return against LSU Saturday night in a game that was postponed from Nov. 14 because of the Tigers’ COVID-10-related issues.

“Of course it will be big, I mean it’s Nick Saban,” Tide safety Jordan Battle said. “Everybody knows that. It wouldn’t change things too much. As you saw, we didn’t have Coach last week and we still stayed the course.”

Saban has continued to monitor practices from home and run meetings using zoom. He wasn’t allowed to communicate with his players or coaches during the Iron Bowl, including at halftime.

Alabama (8-0 SEC, overall; No. 1 playoff rankings) did have a head start for the LSU game from the first scheduled meeting. The Tide worked one day on the Tigers (3-4) during an open date and then Monday and Tuesday of game week before it was called off.

“Because we’ve had some experience with that, I think that’ll be beneficial to how we put the plan together,” Saban said.

Alabama still has a likely makeup game at Arkansas. The Tide could lock up a trip to the SEC championship game in Atlanta on Dec. 19 with a win over LSU or a loss by No. 5 Texas A&M at Auburn.

Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey suspended after arrest

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.

The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”

Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.

Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Nebraska’s leading rusher Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska opened spring practice with running back Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely to work on academics and other issues, first-year coach Matt Rhule announced.

Grant led the team in rushing with 915 yards and six touchdowns last season. He also caught 18 passes for 104 yards.

“Working on academics and general things. Nothing bad other than just our standards as a program,” Rhule said. “That will be day by day. Good kid. Just have to get him going in the right direction.”

Rhule said kick returner and reserve receiver Tommi Hill also is suspended. He did not specify a reason.

Backup tight ends Chris Hickman and James Carnie and reserve cornerback Tyreke Johnson left the team.