ITHACA, N.Y. – The Cornell Department of Athletics and Physical Education has announced that senior Rob Pannell has been granted a fifth-year eligibility waiver through the Ivy League Office. Pannell will rejoin Big Red when he returns to Cornell in the spring 2013 semester to complete his degree requirements.
Under Ivy rules, eligibility beyond four calendar years requires approval of the Executive Director. Among other factors, approval is contingent upon the student having an academic enrollment plan that is approved by institutional academic officials. Pannell worked with university advisors to develop an academic plan that would allow him to complete remaining degree requirements, and complete additional coursework that supports his career goals, during the spring 2013 semester.
“Our coaching staff is ecstatic that Robert and his family have decided that it is in his best interest to pursue this course of action,” said Ben DeLuca, The Richard M. Moran Head Coach of Men’s Lacrosse. “Robert is one of the best leaders and students that I’ve had the privilege to work with during my time at Cornell. He is a tremendous role model both on and off the field and he has been a phenomenal ambassador for the sport of lacrosse, the Cornell Lacrosse family, our University and the Ivy League.”
The 2011 USILA National Player of the Year, Pannell is a three-time All-American, a two-time USILA National Attackman of the year and a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year. At the time of his injury, he was averaging 8.0 points per game with seven goals and nine assists in two contests. He ranks second all-time in Cornell history in assists (149), is third overall in points (252) and sixth overall in goals (103).
“My goal from the moment that I got hurt was to return to the team during the 2012 season. I was told that I could be back in 6-8 weeks and I pushed myself, hoping that would be the case, but I think that was an overly optimistic timeframe. I ended up reinjuring my foot while rehabbing and at that point it became clear that I could not return to the team. In evaluating my future, my family and I decided that there are many academic opportunities at Cornell that would better prepare me for a job, so I have chosen to pursue them. I adjusted my academic plan with the University and will return to Cornell in Spring 2013 to complete degree requirements, fulfill a second Applied Economics and Management specialization in strategy, and play lacrosse. In the end, there were many other options out there, but Cornell is home to me and I want to finish what I started.”