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MISSISSIPPI GRIDDER PARALYZED AFTER MAKING TACKLE

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University of Mississippi free safety Roy Lee "Chuckie" Mullins suffered a paralyzing neck injury Saturday when he made a first-quarter tackle in the Rebels' game with Vanderbilt.

"Chuckie received a fractured-dislocation of the fourth and fifth cervical vertebrae, which are located in the neck," said Leroy Mullins, the Rebels' head trainer. "He was airlifted to Baptist Central in Memphis and is in intensive care. They have put him in tongs."A spokeswoman in the hospital's critical care unit said no condition was immediately available.

Mullins, a 6-foot, 170-pound redshirt freshman from Russellville, Ala., was carried from the field on a stretcher with 6:57 to play in the first quarter of the Rebels' 24-16 victory. He was injured when he made a jarring tackle on Vanderbilt's Brad Gaines to break up a pass play.

"He immediately told us he could not feel anything," Leroy Mullins said. "We cut off a portion of his face mask and hinged it back in case we needed to assist his breathing. Chuckie is paralyzed from the neck down. I've been an athletic trainer for more than 25 years, and this is the worst on-the-field injury I have been involved with."