Notebook: Cornell releases report on men's lacrosse hazing

Cornell University released its report Sunday on incidents that led to the suspension of the men's lacrosse team from fall events. The report reveals what it calls a "presence of a culture within this group of treating new members as less than equals."

The report, found on the university's website dedicated to the reporting of hazing incidents, says freshmen on the team were expected to do menial tasks and chores. It also details an incident in which the freshmen were challenged by teammates in a "keg race," which resulted in multiple members vomiting.

On Friday, Inside Lacrosse reported that the allegations of hazing stem from a team event during orientation in August. At the event there was underage drinking, but no forced consumption of alcohol, the magazine said.

The lacrosse team has been suspended from all fall events, including next Sunday's Capital Lacrosse Classic; the Bethesda event is a fundraiser for the foundation in memory of former Cornell defenseman George Boiardi, who died after being struck in the chest by a ball in a 2004 game. Syracuse is replacing the Big Red in a scrimmage against the Iroquois Nationals and the Israel national team.

In February 2011, a Cornell sophomore fraternity member died after being forced to drink alcohol during a hazing ritual. A coroner's report in that case showed his blood-alcohol level to be 0.356 percent, more than quadruple New York's legal limit.

Rabil signs with Octagon marketing agency

A year and a half after signing a landmark five-year, $1.25 million deal with Warrior to add to his industry-leading portfolio of endorsements, Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins) has taken another step in branching beyond lacrosse. The Major League Lacrosse and National Lacrosse League star signed with Octagon to be his marketing agency.

One of the largest sports marketing firms, Octagon represents the likes of NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson; former NFL coaches Bill Cowher, Brian Billick and Herm Edwards; and Olympic stars Jennie Finch and Michael Phelps, according to Bloomberg News.

Rabil also is featured in a new ESPN "SportsCenter" commercial (see below), along with the likes of Johnson, golfer Bubba Watson and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. Rabil is shown scoring, and later celebrating, a goal with the MLL's Boston Cannons.

Rabil, whose endorsements include Red Bull, Polk Audio, Nooka watches and EFX performance wristbands, chose Octagon over IMG, Wasserman Media Group and Williams and Connolly.

“Octagon really stood out for their history, the athletes they represent, their global resources and their track record with event activation,” Rabil said. “With lacrosse, what I’ve tried to do outside of my efforts on the field, is really try to be entrepreneurial off it. I have been navigating this uncharted territory, and Octagon will really add a lot of professional guidance and assistance with all the resources they have on a day-to-day basis.”

Rabil has been represented by Baltimore attorney Ira Rainess, who will continue on as a business adviser and counsel. Rainess recently signed MLL Rookie of the Year Rob Pannell as a client and also represents Max Seibald and Kyle Harrison (Johns Hopkins). Rabil said Rainess was key in helping him through the marketing agency selection process.

Octagon’s Erin Kane will represent Rabil, who cited youth camps, clinics and tournaments as an area of focus in terms of the expansion of his brand.

“I think there’s a huge opportunity for Paul and the sport of lacrosse to grow nationally and on a global level,” Kane said. “He's very popular, fun and just incredibly charismatic and passionate about the sport. His playing credentials, his skill level, he’s engaged and smart and ultimately will be a great partner to work with.”

Rabil is coming off surgery to repair torn abdominal muscles the week after U.S. national team tryouts over Labor Day weekend. He said recovery should take six to eight weeks, and the surgery wound up being more invasive than his doctor, Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia, initially expected.

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