San Antonio, TX – October 6, 2011 – The Association of Collegiate Anglers has developed the nation’s first comprehensive collegiate bass fishing School of the Year program. The program recognizes collegiate clubs that compete in the BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series, along with Mercury College B.A.S.S. and the National Guard FLW Collegiate Fishing. Additional ACA-sanctioned events have also been selected as part of the program to make it the most complete college fishing rankings to date. The ACA will award points to each competing school, based on their finish in the event in relation to field size. In addition to competition points, teams can also earn limited points for participating in conservation projects submitted to the Berkley Conservation Institute Program through the ACA, as well as hosting their own events.
“We are excited to roll out the first School of the Year Program designed to recognize accomplishments across leagues and independent events. We have established a set of guidelines, including the first universal points system, which will reward college programs for not only competing, but being active in our sport,” said Danny Blandford, Program Director. “The system is straightforward, awarding 1 point for each place secured in a sanctioned competition. The list is expected to be approximately 25 events total as the 2012 ACA-sanctioned event schedules are finalized. Currently we have 19 major events set up for points, and are approaching 70 participating schools.”
Over $10,000 in prizes are available for the inaugural year. With the 2012 ACA School of the Year receiving a sponsor prize pack valued at over $7,000 and their own dedicated television coverage. An episode of Americana Outdoors, as well as features within the BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series, will be devoted to the 2012 champions. Second place will receive $3,000 in merchandise courtesy of the Association of Collegiate Anglers’ sponsors, along with recognition within the programming, while third place receives a package valued at $1,500 in merchandise, as well as recognition.
According to Wade Middleton, Tournament Director of the BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series, “I’m proud of getting this ACA program started for the students. It rewards those teams that fish well all over the country. Our program is the first to recognize their accomplishments across such a large number of events and regions. I look forward to crowning the truly strongest team in college bass fishing June 24th at the conclusion of the Collegiate Open, presented by Pepsi.”
Four of the School of the Year events have already been hosted and it is shaping up to be a good race. Several Big Ten colleges jumped to the top of the leader board, since the recent Big Ten Classic was the first event allowing multiple teams to score for the school, which drives higher point totals. Ohio State is currently in the lead, with points earned in two events, including the Big Ten Classic and the National Guard FLW Northern Regional.
There will be a lot of movement in the rankings as more events take place in the coming weeks. The BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Series events of 2012 will generate high scores and big moves as well, since they are the largest collegiate events in the nation. New teams will be added to the race as they participate in qualifying events over the next several months. Middleton went on to say, “We’ll have the first Top 100 college bass fishing rankings in the nation, and we’re looking forward to a very competitive race. This is something the students and fans have been wanting for quite some time.