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Powell put on ineligible list, won't be a Bayhawk in '04

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.

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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.

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"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.


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