The Bayhawks yesterday abandoned their efforts to persuade Michael Powell to play for them this season.
Powell, who led Syracuse to the NCAA title at M&T; Bank Stadium this past season, was officially placed on the Major Lacrosse League's DNR (did not report) list, meaning he is ineligible for competition in 2004.
The team had hoped to add the MLL draft's No. 1 overall pick to the active roster this week in time for Saturday's game against the Rochester Rattlers, but Powell remained incommunicado in Colorado, where he was reportedly on a whitewater rafting trip after working at a lacrosse camp.
The Bayhawks retain contract rights to Powell, who cited burnout as the reason he wanted a break from a sport he has been playing since elementary school.
"I was kind of prepared for this," said Bayhawks general manager Jay Pivec. "I haven't been real optimistic lately. There has been a lack of response for six or seven days.
"We did everything we could to accommodate the burnout factor and, evidently, five weeks [since the draft] wasn't enough. I'm disappointed for the fans who were excited when we drafted him. Baltimore's fans had to go through this with Terrell Owens with the Ravens and [Vladimir] Guerrero with the Orioles. Now, we have to move on."
Only the fourth player in the history of lacrosse to be named a first-team collegiate All-American four times, Powell scored a school-record 307 points for the Orange, the last goal the game-winner in the NCAA championship game against Navy.
He is considered the most creative attackman in the game, and he would have made the high-scoring Bayhawks even tougher to stop.
"Most likely, it'll be next year," said a philosophical coach, Gary Gait, who - with Mark Millon - heads the team's potent, but aging, attack corps.
"I think we've still got lots of firepower," added Gait, referring to an offense that has averaged 17.5 goals a game.
Had Powell been activated and played Saturday, he would have launched his MLL career against a team that has two of his brothers, Casey and Ryan, as its leading offensive threats.