Tucker Melcher, a freshman wide receiver on the Nevada football team, is in the intensive care unit at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center fighting an infection in his brain.

"There's brain swelling. It's a waiting game," an emotional Bubba Melcher, Tucker's dad, said Tuesday. "… The next three days are pretty hit and miss. Nobody knows how it happened."

Bubba Melcher, a longtime area football coach, elite cyclist and former Wolf Pack football player, said a neurosurgeon has seen his son, who remains on a ventilator to prevent aspiration. Tucker has paralysis in his left arm and leg, and Bubba Melcher said the doctors have told him they believe it is temporary.

"It's happened before to young kids like this and they come out of it," Bubba said. "With the complications, it's a guessing game."

Tucker, who walked on last fall and redshirted, had what was believed to be a basic sinus infection when he went with some friends to Southern California for spring break last week. Bubba said the symptoms got worse and Tucker's friends took him to three emergency rooms in three days before deciding they needed to take Tucker home. After coming home, Tucker developed a fever of 105.6 and had two seizures.

Bubba said Tucker's doctor has told them that such bacterial infections are more prevalent.

"He said in 10 years he saw maybe one of these in the area," Bubba said. "He said he sees maybe five a year now."

Bubba said Wolf Pack coach Brian Polian, who opens spring camp on April 2, and the university have been very helpful.