Alabama AD Greg Byrne fought ‘challenging’ symptoms while dealing with COVID-19

Ryan Young
·2-min read

After a rough stretch battling COVID-19, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said Thursday that he’s feeling a lot better.

Byrne tested positive last Wednesday alongside coach Nick Saban, just days before Alabama’s highly anticipated matchup with Georgia. While Saban’s test ended up being considered a false positive — he was able to rejoin the Crimson Tide on the sideline for their 41-24 win against the Bulldogs — Byrne was showing symptoms right away.

He was dealing with a fever, chills and body aches over the first several days, he said on ESPN, but has now been “mostly” dealing with fatigue ever since.

“I’m doing better,” Byrne said on ESPN, via “It’s been a challenging 10 days. A lot of people had a lot more issues than I have but I can also tell you the first couple days felt pretty bad and the last week or so I started feeling better. I’m still dealing with some fatigue and different issues that come along with it but comparatively speaking, I’m certainly very fortunate.”

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne gestures as he introduces Nate Oats as the new basketball coach for the University of Alabama, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne tested positive for the coronavirus, but said that he is feeling better. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Byrne: ‘I know why people have issues’ with COVID

Byrne is just the latest prominent figure in the SEC to contract the coronavirus or have to deal with a coronavirus outbreak. Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin announced in July that he had contracted the coronavirus, and his football program had to deal with an outbreak last week — which also hit coach Dan Mullen. Vanderbilt and Ole Miss had outbreaks last week, too.

[ Coronavirus: How the sports world is responding to the pandemic ]

There have been more than 8.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States as of Thursday night, according to The New York Times, and more than 222,000 deaths attributed to it. The country is averaging more than 60,500 new cases a day over the past week, too, and is nearing the same numbers from the largest spike in July. Alabama has had more than 177,000 cases, nearly 8,000 of which came in the last week.

While he feels that Alabama is handling protocols well both with its athletes and fans — Byrne said he thinks their game against Georgia last week “went off well” — his experience personally battling the virus has changed his outlook on it.

“It’s something now that I’ve been through it, I know why people have issues with it,” Byrne said on ESPN, via “I know why the calls been out there to try to be respectful of one another … I hope I don’t go through anything like this again, because it’s not a lot of fun.”

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