The UM soccer team’s 2020 season was a casualty of the COVID 19 pandemic, but that did not discourage the student athletes in the classroom, both real and virtual.

Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Montana Jean Gee shared the good news on Tuesday.

“The UM soccer program received the United Soccer Coaches team academic award for the 10th time in the past 11 years,” said Gee. “This award is given out to teams that have a team GPA of a 3.0 or better for this past academic year.”

Gee marveled at the team’s intensity despite the cancellation of the season.

“What I find so amazing is that it was based on last year’s GPA, and when we suddenly in March as a campus had to go completely remote with her instruction,” she said. “I think that was extremely stressful and a bit foreign to a lot of a lot of our students but especially our student athletes to not have that connection and then also not have their connection to their coaches in their teammates in person and to still do well in that kind of environment and climate, I think really says a lot about our student athletes and specifically in this case, our soccer team.”

Gee said he NCAA has made many allowances for student athletes this year, since the fact that they are not allowed to play through no fault of their own.

“Our student athletes who are on scholarship, maintain their scholarship just like they would in any other year,” she said. “There have been some pretty significant changes at the NCAA level as far as eligibility and being able to compete this year, at least our fall sports so far, being able to compete this year, so when we compete in the spring we won’t use that as a season of eligibility, and that seniors will be able to come back next fall and continue that scholarship without having that count against the team.”

To be eligible, teams must have had a team GPA of 3.0 or better for the 2019-20 academic year, however the team responded with a GPA for the spring semester of better than 3.6.”

(UM photo)