Collegiate bass fishing is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. From California, up to Michigan and down to the gulf in states like Texas and Alabama, anglers are using their passion of fishing to pursue a college degree and compete in collegiate bass fishing tournaments. Increased media coverage & exposure, as well as growing numbers of high school anglers looking to move up to the next level, are creating a fierce recruiting landscape for teams & clubs to navigate as they strive to be the number one ranked team in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.
Recent Auburn University graduate, and member of the million dollar duo that won the 2021 Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open Amateur Team Championships, Logan Parks has founded a scholarship fund in his name to award a scholarship to an Auburn University Bass Fishing Team member. Here is what Parks wrote in a recent Instagram post announcing the scholarship:
“During 2021 I have been extremely blessed, and winning the Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open Amateur Team Championship has given me an opportunity to give back and make a positive impact. To keep the Auburn University Bass Team in contention for national titles, we must continue to recruit top talent from across the country and internationally. I have decided to give $26,000 of my Bass Pro Shops U.S. Open Amateur Team Championship winnings towards the first ever SEC Bass Fishing Scholarship. Incoming anglers enrolled at Auburn University will now be eligible for the Logan Parks Bass Fishing Scholarship.”
The $26,000 scholarship fund founded by Parks creates an endowment scholarship that will award a $1,000 scholarship to an Auburn University Bass Fishing Team member for the next 26 years. Parks’ goal with this scholarship is to afford student anglers with the opportunity to compete for the Bass Fishing Team and receive valuable financial assistance that will help them in the pursuit of a college degree at Auburn University.
“I never had that opportunity at Auburn, and I wanted to create that opportunity at the school I love to go to and to help create an opportunity for others to experience what I’ve experienced,” said Parks. “It’s been an incredible past four and a half years, and I want other kids to be able to come to Auburn and to fish for Auburn…and if this scholarship helps them do that, then that’s fantastic.”
Parks went on to add that he hopes this scholarship fund at Auburn University sets an example for other bass fishing clubs at public institutions to follow a similar blueprint and create a scholarship fund for their team.
The process of setting up the scholarship began with Parks reaching out to the Student Affairs department on campus. From there, Student Affairs worked with him to explain the particulars about the scholarship and set up the fund for donors to contribute to. Because the scholarship was set up as an endowment, people are able to donate and designate funds intended directly for the Logan Parks Bass Fishing Scholarship Fund.
Parks is hopeful that members of the Auburn alumni base will step up and donate to the cause so that the team can award multiple scholarships each school year. “I’d like to grow it as much as possible. If we hit $50,000, it’ll be two $1,000 scholarships for the next 25 years,” explained Parks. “I’d really like to grow it to where we can give three scholarships a year at about $5,000 a year. So I’d like to be able to grow this thing to the point where it actually makes an impact on people’s decision to come to Auburn or not.”
For those interested in contributing to this particular scholarship fund set up at Auburn University, make checks payable to “Auburn University Foundation” and in the check memo line write “For Logan Parks Bass Fishing Scholarship Fund.” Mail checks to:
Office of Gifts and Records
317 South College Street
Auburn, AL 36849
All donations are 501c3 tax deductible.
This $26,000 scholarship donation by Parks could be a watershed moment for the sport of collegiate bass fishing. Other public colleges and universities with bass fishing clubs also have the same opportunity to set up similar scholarship funds at their respective schools. Funds such as this will provide young student anglers with a chance to pursue higher education and to get out on the water and fish competitively on the college circuit.