Plum graduate Cressler leaving Cornell after 2 seasons
College Football Videos
An on-the-rise player in college basketball circles, Nolan Cressler seemed to have an ideal situation at Cornell. He started for two seasons, became the go-to scorer and appeared primed to take his place among the program's top guards.
But after a 2-26 season and the madness missing from March, Cressler had a change of heart.
The Plum graduate and Cornell sophomore was granted his release Thursday and will transfer to another Division I school.
Cressler said he is seeking a “new situation” and that the decision is based partially on basketball and partially on academics. It has nothing to do with wanting to be closer to home.
“I want to see what else is out there,” said the 6-foot-4 Cressler, who made All-Ivy League honorable mention this season after averaging 16.8 points, fourth in the Ivy League. “I loved Cornell and am thankful for the opportunity they gave me, but it's not necessarily the place for me. I am ready to pursue somewhere else.”
Cressler, who scored 757 points in two seasons, follows the trend of other former WPIAL stars leaving their initial schools, including Highlands' Micah Mason (Drake to Duquesne), Chartiers Valley's T.J. McConnell (Duquesne to Arizona), Beaver Falls' Sheldon Jeter (Vanderbilt to Polk State to Pitt), and others.
The Ivy League does not award athletic scholarships, but Cressler still will have to sit a year as per NCAA rules. He essentially will be recruited all over again and will attempt to land a scholarship from another school.
A well-rounded scorer and defender who has grown into a dangerous 3-point shooter, Plum's all-time leading scorer does not have a new destination in mind, rather a laundry list of potential fits; some, he understands, could be pipe dreams.
Transferring comes with risks, and there is no looking back.
“It all depends on the fit,” said Cressler, who turned heads at last summer's Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am, scoring 38 in one game. “I feel I can play at a higher level. If it can work out on the basketball court, and I can continue the high level of education, than that's where I'll be.”
Cressler, who sought council from a circle of family and friends and said he did not make a rushed decision, said leaving Cornell does not mean an ugly breakup.
“I don't think there's any bad blood,” he said. “I will be friends with my old teammates for the rest of my life. It will be hard to leave them.”
Cressler's brother, Andrew, also transferred at the college level. He started at Seton Hill before finishing his career at Pitt-Johnstown.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Harrison’s 5 RBIs help Pirates pound Brewers
- Steelers notebook: Keisel always hoped to return
- Mother Nature takes a swat at Western Pa. stink bugs
- Sandusky cover-up case unusually shrouded
- Records: Steelers RB Bell admitted smoking pot before traffic stop but denied being high
- Hero Franklin Regional security guard out of work
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Sanchez makes 1st start at first base with Indy
- Time on the bench gets Snider back into Pirates lineup
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Pitt football team rallies around its youth