Student Athletes at the University of Montana are performing better than ever in the classroom, according to numbers just released by the UM Athletic Department.

Senior Associate Athletic Director Jean Gee said her department is proud of the hard work that student athletes have been putting into their schoolwork.

“We just achieved an all-time high in our grade performance,” said Gee. “Both in the cumulative GPA level and the term GPA. It’s just incredible how much they concentrate on their academics, and they’re just getting better term after term. The 3.19 term is higher than recent terms and the cumulative GPA is probably about .02 higher than our last term report.”

Gee said there seems to be something about what football players are calling ‘the Hauck Effect’ when it comes to schoolwork.

“When he was here before as head coach and here now, his number one priority is graduation for the football team, above everything else, including athletics,” she said. “He and his coaches emphasize that and so his recruits and the football team had an incredible GPA this semester.”

The Grizzlies came in with a team-wide GPA of 2.99. And then it got even better. The Grizzlies didn’t just reach 3.0 for the first time in the fall, they rushed past it, the 102 members of the team averaging a 3.07 for the autumn semester. Fifty-eight players had a semester GPA of 3.0 or better, 20 made the Dean’s List and five had perfect 4.0 terms.

Gee said there are facts that the general public doesn’t know, such as the extra academic expectations for scholarship athletes.

“They have to pass a certain number of credits every semester and a certain number of credits every year,” she said. “They must have a minimum GPA and pass a certain percentage of their degree program starting with their third year of enrollment. They have to start meeting 40 percent, 60 percent and 80 percent. They can’t be goofing off, they have to make certain progress toward their degree.”

Gee said student athletes are on a track to graduate in four to five years.

It was definitely a record-setting semester for the Department of Athletics, with its 330 student-athletes recording an average term GPA of 3.19 while raising their average cumulative GPA to 3.21, the 27th consecutive semester that cumulative average has been 3.0 or higher.,Both GPAs are highs since the department began keeping records in 1999.