I received the following email from Kimberlee Flurry of Roland, mother of Blake Flurry, who partnered with Zack Birge of Blanchard last summer to win a collegiate bass fishing national championship at Oklahoma State University.
Collegiate bass fishing is growing with more tournaments and more schools, but in Oklahoma and most universities in the country it is treated as a club sport with little or no financial sport from the schools. The bass fishing clubs raise money so its members can travel and compete.
I came across an article you had written back in 2010 or 2011 where you were discussing the OSU bass fishing teams and how you thought T. Boone Pickens would be making a donation to that sport.
Well, my son and his partner won the Carrhart Bassmasters National Collegiate Championship in July 2012 for OSU.
I was really hoping that they might hear something from Mr. Pickens, especially after knowing that he has contributed to the FLW Tour.
These boys fish hard, long hours competing all over the country to get to that championship chance. I was extremely proud of all the competitors at the national championship.
They fished six consecutive days in 105 degree plus temps for eight hours a day. They had meetings at night on the next day rules and preparation and got to bed late and back up a 4 each morning, not to mention the mental stress as well.
This is definitely a sport that is becoming large. I watched at the tournaments over the last couple of years and there are actually schools that offer scholarships, funding, boats, etc. I have been very impressed with OSU as a college, but I am sad to say that OSU is behind other colleges in the bass fishing area.
My son will graduate this year and his fishing partner just graduated in December. College is expensive enough without having to fund all the fishing expenses also.
I am saying this to you for the future fishermen of OSU. Maybe their road will not be as financially grueling as ours has been. I would do it again, though, as it has opened many doors for our son and his partner for a future at possibly fishing professionally. It has been a great experience.
I know that there are others that deserve a chance to prove their fishing skills but, due to finances, will not ever get that opportunity. It would be nice that the fishing team be recognized for the national championship win. I believe that all others sports at the college receive some kind of national championship ring when a national championship is won.
I hope that maybe Mr. Pickens will reconsider funding the fishing team and help OSU grow this already rapidly growing sport.
Kimberlee Flurry, Roland