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Alabama AD Greg Byrne Recalls Fight with COVID-19 on Paul Finebaum Show: "I'm Doing Better"

The Crimson Tide athletic director sat down with Finebaum to discuss his battle with the novel coronavirus

While University of Alabama coach Nick Saban's initial positive COVID-19 test was deemed false, athletic director Greg Byrne was not so lucky. 

The Crimson Tide administrator testing positive for the novel coronavirus last Wednesday and has since been in isolation for the last week and a half. He appeared on the SEC Network's Paul Finebaum Show to provide an update on how he is feeling.

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

Byrne confirmed that he did have symptoms like a fever, chills, and he mentioned that all of his old sports injuries were "on fire." Upon hearing the news of a positive test from head athletic trainer, he left the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility. 

"The first couple days I had a pretty constant fever," Byrne said. "The chills and the body aches went away and after 10 days I shouldn't be contagious anymore, but this has gone on longer than anything I've dealt with before."

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Saturday's 41-24 victory over Georgia was an extremely different game day experience for Byrne, as it was only the second time he had missed a game in his entire career. 

“It was certainly an interesting day,” Byrne said. “Obviously, in the morning, we were administering Coach Saban’s last test. Once we found out Coach was gonna, in fact, be able to be at the game and coach, that was certainly something we were all very pleased with. And then on game day, we have a great staff, people who work there from sun up to the very end of the day, and as the AD, you’re trying to support them, you’re trying to engage with your fans.

“I was able to talk to our people beforehand. I was able to talk during the game and talk to them afterwards, too. Tell them what a good job they did. It was not normal because I’m used to being around the team and the coaches and trying to support, and so I was doing it from my La-Z-Boy, laying down watching the game, not feeling like a million bucks during the game. But certainly that second half made me feel a lot better once we played as well as we did.” 

After contracting the virus, Byrne says he has great empathy and sympathy for what so many people around our country have gone through.

"Now that I have been through it I know why people have had issues with it," Byrne said. "I know why the call is out there to try and be respectful to one another and I hope I don’t go through anything like this ever again because it is not a lot of fun.”