Knoxville, Tennessee (CNN)-- Twelve students at the University of Tennessee have been cited for underage drinking, one for disorderly conduct, and a chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity suspended after a weekend incident involving alcohol enemas in which one student was hospitalized, a university spokeswoman said.
"Upon extensive questioning, it is believed that members of the fraternity were using rubber tubing inserted into their rectums as a conduit for alcohol as the abundance of capillaries and blood vessels present greatly heightens the level and speed of the alcohol entering the bloodstream as it bypasses the filtering by the liver," Knoxville Police Dept spokesman Darrell DeBusk said Monday in a statement.
The student, who was taken to the UT Medical Center in critical condition with a blood alcohol level of 0.40 -- five times the legal cutoff for driving -- has been released, the hospital said.
But the parents of the student said their son denied involvement in the activity described by the police spokesman.
Police spokesman DeBusk said he was standing by his account.
"It was information gathered through the course of our investigation, which has now been turned over to the UT Police Department," he said.
Police found tubing and materials used to give alcohol enemas at the scene. At least one witness who was at the fraternity house told police that the student who was taken to hospital had received the alcohol enema.
Spokeswoman Karen Simsen said that hazing does not appear to have been involved. "It's just an incident involving alcohol," she said.
The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity said it had administratively suspended the school's Zeta Chapter and was investigating the incident, which occurred early Saturday.
"The recent allegations against these individuals have come as a complete shock to The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity, its 15,000 undergraduate members and over 200,000 living alumni, family and friends," the statement said. "Pi Kappa Alpha's mission is to develop men of integrity, intellect and high moral character and to foster a truly lifelong fraternal experience. These alleged activities are clearly not consistent with that mission, nor are they representative of what the fraternity would expect from any of its members."
The suspension will last for 30 days or until a decision is made regarding the long-term status of the chapter, the fraternity office said.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.
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