Notre Dame’s triumphant return from Ireland was marred by a mid-air emergency after their director of player development collapsed on the flight home.
Ernest Jones is said to be in ‘stable condition’ at the Memorial Hospital of South Bend after his collapse on a Delta airlines charter.
Notre Dame’s director of player development and engagement for the football team, Jones will remain overnight at the hospital to undergo further evaluation and treatment for dehydration.
Athletic department spokesman John Heisler said Jones is listed in stable condition after he became ill and fainted with about two hours remaining on the team’s flight home.
The Notre Dame flight landed at Michiana Regional Airport about 11:50 p.m. Saturday and Jones was transported to Memorial at that time.
An ambulance was waiting for the flight at the airport and took Jones off the plane and to the hospital around 12:00 a.m. Sunday, according to local reports.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told WSBT that there was reason to believe Jones would be OK.
Swarbrick said: “All indications are is he is doing well. 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.”
The report says that Jones serves as a liaison between the players and coaches and other support systems, such as academic advising.
He is a person that players can come to if they have a concern or need help but might not be comfortable sharing it with the coaches.
Jones also helps coordinate community service projects, and also coordinates and monitors study hall sessions.