Forget making the best decision so far this college season. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio went to the hospital early this morning after experiencing chest pains and probably saved his own life.
According to an AP report out of East Lansing, Dantonio had a mild heart attack and was hospitalized shortly after calling the stunning fake field goal to beat Notre Dame, 34-31, in overtime.
The 54-year-old Dantonio had surgery to put a stent in a blocked blood vessel leading to the heart. ``This morning, in the very early hours, not long after the football game, Coach Dantonio began experiencing some symptoms,'' said Dr. Chris D'Haem, who performed the relatively common procedure to restore blood flow. ``Fortunately, his heart damage is very minimal. He's going to do very well and we're very optimistic he'll have a full recovery.''
The game ended just before midnight. After Michigan State lined up for a 46-yard field goal that could have forced a second overtime, holder Aaron Bates threw a pass to Charlie Gantt for a winning touchdown.
D'Haem said Dantonio began experiencing symptoms of a heart problem around 12:30 a.m., including a squeezing sensation in his chest.
``Fortunately, he got in in a very timely fashion,'' D'Haem said.
began his news conference Sunday by wishing Dantonio well.
``On behalf of the Notre Dame family we are in thoughts and prayers for Coach Dantonio and wish him a speedy recovery. Look forward to seeing him back on the sidelines,'' Irish coach Brian Kelly said at his Sunday press conference. ``We didn't get in until about quarter of four this morning. I went home right away. When I came back in the office Brian Hardin, our sports information director, gave me the news.''
Saturday night, Dantonio gave agita to Notre Dame nation with a doozy of a call. The he called his own number.
``Like we said all along, we needed one big momentum play. We just didn't know when it would come,'' Dantonio said after the game. ``I don't really know where to start or end, but it was a big night for the Spartans.''
And a heckuva morning, too.