<
>

Reserve center in intensive care since Saturday

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee reserve center Chuck Prugh remained hospitalized in critical condition for a fifth day Wednesday.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Chuck and his family. I
think the thing he'd want us to do is kind of carry on, go to the
practice and continue to improve," quarterback Casey Clausen said.
"I think he's gotten better a little bit as each day has gone
on."

Prugh has been in intensive care at University of Tennessee
Medical Center since Saturday. Hospital officials said Wednesday
his condition remained critical.

Team officials have not said whether doctors have diagnosed
Prugh's illness. They have suspected he has a virus but won't given
any details except to say they do not believe he is contagious.

"He continues to be monitored closely and his evaluation is
ongoing," team doctor Val Gene Iven said in a statement.

Prugh was admitted to University of Tennessee Medical Center
last Friday, discharged briefly, readmitted the next day and has
remained there since.

Coach Phillip Fulmer wouldn't say Tuesday whether doctors had diagnosed his
illness, citing new laws that protect the privacy of medical
records.

"That's all I can tell you about it," Fulmer said. "Hopefully
he'll do well, and everybody's prayers and thoughts are with him."

Prugh transferred to Tennessee in 2000 from Carson-Newman as a
walk-on. He was awarded a scholarship this fall as he moved up the
depth chart to be starter Scott Wells' backup.

Prugh's roommate Jason Respert, an offensive lineman, talked
with one of Prugh's sisters. She said her brother's temperature had
reached 104 at one point.

Prugh started to have flulike symptoms Sept. 23 and took
antibiotics, but couldn't recover.