Just as the deaths of Fighting Irish legends George Gipp and Knute Rockne tempered the elation over undefeated National Championship seasons, the plight of Ernest Jones now dampers the joy of Notre Dame’s victory over Navy. Jones, Notre Dame’s director of player development and engagement for the football team, became ill and fainted with two hours left on the team’s return trip from Dublin. He remained overnight at Memorial Hospital of South Bend while undergoing further evaluation and treatment for dehydration, according to Notre Dame athletic department spokesman John Heisler.
Jones is listed in stable condition.
“All indications are is he is doing well,” said Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick after exiting the plane early Sunday morning. “He experienced lightheadedness and an elevated heart rate. Fortunately, we have a lot of doctors as part of our crew and they took great care of him. The flight attendants did a great job and, as I say, everything looks great. As he headed out, he was alert, conscious and talking to everybody and saying he felt okay. Everybody responded effectively and he is on his way to the hospital.”
In other words, much has changed in the way of treatment since the days of Gipp, whose only protection against the onset of pneumonia on a cold November day vs Northwestern was a thin blanket. Also, unlike the response time since the fatal flight of Rockne, medical personnel were there to transport Jones to Memorial immediately after it touched down at 11:50 p.m. Still, at least at Notre Dame, one thing remains the same.
Although all secular institutions of higher learning have excellent medical treatment and response times, Notre Dame can still offer prayers (even when prayer is not “politically correct”) without fear of reprisal, and I’m sure that Jones, a popular liaison between the players, coaches, and academic advisers, is now receiving a boatload of them.
Godspeed, Mr. Jones, and know that all of us here at Rant Sports add our prayers to all those Domers wishing you to get well soon.