Reserve center in intensive care since Saturday

Originally Published: October 1, 2003
Associated Press

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.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press