SEC football is increasingly a Covid-19 super-spreader.
The players already risk serious injury from playing the game. Now, their health is more and more threatened by the coronavirus.
When news broke Wednesday afternoon that Alabama coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne had tested positive for covid-19, the conference had already canceled two games because of the disease.
For now, the Saturday night showdown between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia remains on, although Saban will be absent.
No Alabama players or other coaches have tested positive for the disease, so far.
Although Saban's been conducting practices and meeting with coaches, perhaps the Crimson Tide will escape further cases of the virus.
But No. 10 Florida had to postpone its game with LSU when 21 Gators players tested positive for the disease. The game is expected to be played on Dec. 12.
Before scrubbing the game, Gators coach Dan Mullen had called for the lifting of social distancing regulations so that fans could pack Florida's stadium, known as the Swamp.
The SEC has allowed a limited number of fans to attend games this season. The spectators are often shown on TV clustered together without masks, raising the possibility of widespread outbreaks.
Earlier in the season, LSU coach Ed Orgeron reported that every member of his team had been infected with the disease.
The coach of the defending national champions shrugged off any worries about long-term health threats to his players.
So far during the Tigers' disappointing season, no more Covid-19 cases have been reported.
LSU's last two opponents, Vanderbilt and Missouri, had to postpone their game this weekend,because a Covid-19 outbreak left Vanderbilt with too few scholarship players to field a team. Several Missouri players missed last week's LSU game because of the virus.
Saban's positive test drew increased attention to Covid-19's dangers to players and coaches.
In a press conference from his home, the quarantined coach said he has no symptoms of the disease, and endorsed social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks. During the Ole Miss-Alabama game last Saturday night, Saban never removed his mask. How he might have been exposed to the disease was not reported.
Even if no Alabama players test positive for the disease before Saturday night's game, they could still be infected and at risk of infecting others. The Crimson Tide players will crash against Georgia's team, and interact with referees.
But the game will go on, broadcast to the nation by CBS.