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BREAKING: Jacksonville State coach John Grass tests positive for COVID-19

JSU Mercer sights

Jacksonville head coach John Grass leads his Gamecocks out before the JSU vs Mercer, football game. Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

If you're a college football coach and don't want to make a big deal out of testing positive for COVID-19, do it the same week as the biggest name in the sport.

After Alabama's Nick Saban announced his positive test Wednesday, Jacksonville State head coach John Grass announced tonight he has tested positive as well and won't be at the Gamecocks' game Saturday at North Alabama.

Assistant head coach Jimmy Ogle, who is in his 21st year as a JSU assistant, will oversee the team at UNA. Current NCAA rules say Grass can communicate with his coaches and team until 90 minutes before kickoff. After that, he can't speak with his staff in the press box or team on the sideline until after the game.

"I was notified that I received a positive test result after our most recent round of COVID testing," Grass said in a statement released by the school. "Upon receiving notification of the positive result, I immediately began to follow our protocols for positive tests and went into self isolation at home.

"I am confident in the protocols we have in place to handle positive results, and I will continue to follow our plan until I am cleared to return to our team in person."

Through a team spokesman, Grass said he didn't want to speak tonight about the issue beyond the statement.

Grass will remain involved with the team through video conferencing and phone. He will continue overseeing the team's preparations for the UNA game.

"Our staff and players have worked extremely hard to prepare for the fall season and I am confident that the Gamecocks are in good hands until I am cleared to return," Grass said in the statement.

Grass is in his seventh season as JSU's head coach.

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.