Ardell "Doo" Passell was an outstanding all-around athlete while attending Lock Haven High School in the late 1920s, especially in basketball and football. Passell enrolled at Franklin & Marshall College in the fall of 1929 and competed in both basketball and football. When he enrolled at F&M, the school was starting to come back dtrong in football and had recruited many outstanding high school players in the East. Passell made the freshman team, playing from the running halfback position on offense and due to his great speed, was the safety on defense. He was to continue at these same positions throughout his brilliant college and professional careers. F&M posted winning seasons during Doo's three-year varsity career under coach "Poss" Miller, former Penn great, for one year and coach Al Holman in his final two seasons.
Shortly before the start of the 1933 season, Passell's final year, he was elected captain of the team. The Diplomats ran from the double wing and short punt formations. Doo ran from the weak side and passed from the strong side. With Passell throwing the ball, F&M passed a lot more than most teams during this period. He put the ball in the air for 70-yard heaves on several occasions. On defense, he was considered a great safetyman. One of his strong points during his career was returning punts.
Probably his best college game came during his final season. Geneva College came to Lancaster from an upset victory over Boston University and a tie with powerful Bucknell. The previous season Geneva has blasted F&M. Behind the sensational performance of captain Passell, Franklin & Marshall upset Geneva 20-0. Doo passed over 50 yards for one touchdown and set up another score with a 57-yard "bomb" that ended up on the six-yard line. Passell's football career did not end when he graudated from F&M, as he played five years of professional ball for the Reading Keys and All-Lancaster teams.