FLW Outdoors clarifies Wellman suspension - Major League Fishing

FLW Outdoors clarifies Wellman suspension

Michigan angler no longer eligible to participate in FLW Outdoors events through 2012
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September 7, 2011 • MLF • Archives

After a careful review of bass pro Nate Wellman’s conduct at the recent Bassmaster Lake Erie Northern Open event, FLW Outdoors officials have suspended the Grand Rapids, Mich., native from participating in FLW Outdoors tournaments through the end of the 2012 season.

Pro Nate Wellman“In light of his recent conduct during the Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake Erie, we have notified Nate Wellman that he is no longer eligible to participate in FLW Outdoors tournaments,” said Kathy Fennel, FLW Outdoors president, operations division. “We reached this decision after speaking with Mr. Wellman and determining that his actions were a clear violation of FLW Tour rule No. 9 regarding sportsmanship. Mr. Wellman may apply to have his eligibility reinstated after one year.”

Fennel acknowledged that Wellman specifically was in violation of the “sportsmanship” clause in the 2011 FLW Tour rules which states the following:

9. Sportsmanship

    All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, to FLW Outdoors, FLW Outdoors’ sponsors, the sport of fishing and FLW Outdoors’ efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the 2011 FLW Tour.
  • Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration, the pretournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.
  • Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.
  • Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.
  • Suspension/disqualification or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.
  • Any other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in the first sentence of paragraph 9.

In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, FLW Outdoors shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee (minus deposit) or to disqualify a contestant.

Wellman, who reportedly entered into a discussion with his co-angler about the potential “purchase” of fish during the Aug. 25-27 Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake Erie, was also fined and placed on a one-year probation by BASS.

Since he began his career with FLW Outdoors in 2001, Wellman has recorded seven top-10 finishes and over $280,000 in earnings.