The New Orleans Saints are practicing in the West Virginia foothills at the Greenbrier hotel and resort. Shortly before practice ended today, team owner Tom Benson was taken off the field and transported to a nearby hospital, which has been confirmed by team spokesman Greg Bensel.
This is not the first time Benson has been rushed to a hospital. In May he collapsed and was taken by ambulance to a nearby medical center. Benson, 87, did not collapse this time, but was assisted to an ambulance that was on site, administered oxygen therapy and whisked away.
Bensel believes that Benson’s condition could be a result of the mountain altitude and possible dehydration, according to a report on the Times-Picayune website. Benson has owned the team since 1985 and has been instrumental in turning both the franchise around, as well as the city of New Orleans’ recovery following hurricane Katrina. which displaced the team for a season.
Over the last several months, Benson has dealt with medical issues that include knee surgery and the aforementioned fall in May at the league owners meetings. He suffered a concussion from that collapse. Benson has attended most of the Saint’s practice sessions thus far by riding around on a golf cart. He has previously complained about the altitude. It makes one believe that the Saints might not go back to West Virginia next season.
The Saints are looking to get back into the Super Bowl chase this season after being knocked out of the divisional playoffs last year by the Seattle Seahawks.