Alabama coach Nick Saban's daughter has apologized for a tweet on Tuesday in which she suggested that Ohio State was using COVID-19 issues to postpone Monday night's scheduled College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T because Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields is injured.
On Tuesday, sources told ESPN there had been discussions about pushing the game back to Jan. 18 because of COVID-19 issues within the Ohio State program. However, CFP executive director Bill Hancock said the game remains on schedule to be played on Jan. 11 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
In the now-deleted tweet, Kristen Saban Setas wrote: "If you're not confident to play then SAY IT. I call BS on the COVID cases. They're just worried about their QB and want him to have more time to heal. If he's hurt put in your backup. You didn't see us postpone the rest of the season to wait for [injured star wide receiver Jaylen] Waddle. BYE."
In a statement posted to Twitter a couple of hours later, Setas apologized for her earlier tweet.
"The tweet I posted earlier this evening was uncalled for and hurtful," she wrote. "I made a huge mistake and I apologize. In a moment of frustration, I let my anger get the best of me and acted before thinking. I sincerely regret my choice of reckless words. In no way did I intend to undermine the seriousness of the global pandemic and my heart goes out to those it has affected. The health and safety of others is first and foremost and I pray that we all can find peace soon. I am ashamed and embarrassed. I hope you can forgive me."
She has since deleted her Twitter account.
Alabama officials and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey have told ESPN they are committed to playing on Monday.
"I can tell you there are no changes," Hancock told ESPN. "The game is scheduled for Jan. 11, as planned, and we look forward to it."
Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said Monday that he expects Fields to play against the Crimson Tide. Fields took a hit to his side late in the first half against Clemson in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl but stayed in the game. Afterward, Fields said he took an injection to be able to keep playing but was in pain every time he threw.
Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones found humor in Setas' initial tweet, suggesting that the Crimson Tide might not want to face another Buckeyes backup.
😅 sure you wanna face another backup from OSU? You know what happen last time right.... pic.twitter.com/gYkA8bQ5m0— Cardale Jones (@CJ1two) January 5, 2021
In January 2015, the first season of the CFP, Jones led Ohio State to a 42-35 upset of No. 1 Alabama in a semifinal in only his second career start, after Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett got hurt.