October 24, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

An Eastern Oregon University football player with meningitis is doing better at Grande Ronde Hospital.

Sophomore Drew Storm is awake and responding to doctors, according to Lien Dretke, a nurse practitioner with the student health center.

Storm was diagnosed with meningitis Friday after his roommates and an assistant football coach called 911 to his off-campus apartment. He had complained of a cold and was doing better before his condition worsened the night before he went to the hospital.

When Storm woke earlier this week, he spoke incomprehensibly, but is now speaking in full sentences, following commands and answering questions, Dretke said.

Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, according to WebMD.