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Nine UM Athletic Squads Earn GPAs of 3.0 or Better in Autumn Semester

Nine of Montana’s 12 athletic squads had team grade point averages of 3.00 or better for the 2012 fall semester. That success, combined with the Griz football team’s academic breakthrough, led to a record-setting semester for UM’s Department of Athletics.

Montana’s programs combined for a semester GPA of 3.09, and that upped the department’s cumulative GPA (all student-athletes for all the semesters they’ve been enrolled) to 3.11. Both of those metrics are the best on record since record-keeping began following the 1999 fall semester.

This marks the 15th straight semester that the department’s cumulative GPA has remained at 3.00 or higher.

“I’m overjoyed with this news,” first-year Director of Athletics Kent Haslam said. “One of our strategic goals is to keep the department’s GPA at 3.00 or higher, and for another semester we’ve done that.

“This shows the ongoing commitment to academic success by our student-athletes. It also points to the great support they are getting from their coaches and our academic services staff.”

The Montana football team wasn’t one of the nine teams at 3.00 or better, but the Grizzlies finished the semester at 2.92. It was the best single-semester academic performance for the team and its 101 players in the record-keeping era.

The women’s cross country team, with a GPA of 3.60 (while also taking a department-high academic load of 16.33 credits), had the department’s best semester for the third straight term. The team also kept alive its streak of posting a 3.00 or better every semester since the fall of 1999, the only program in the department to do so.

If the goal is to combine both academic and athletic success, the Griz soccer team had the best fall. Montana won its first Big Sky Conference regular-season championship since 2000 while also posting a team GPA of 3.42. Thirty of the team’s 33 players had a semester GPA of 3.00 or better.

The Montana volleyball team had a semester GPA of 3.48 and had the best percentage of its student-athletes posting academic perfection. Five of the team’s 13 players, nearly 40 percent of the roster, had 4.00 semesters.

Also coming in at 3.20 or better were the women’s tennis team (3.41), the women’s basketball team (3.33), the women’s track and field team (3.33), the men’s cross country team (3.28) and the women’s golf team (3.25).

The men’s tennis team, at 3.00, gave Montana its ninth program at 3.00 or better.

“It’s not easy being a student-athlete,” said Haslam, a former collegiate baseball player. “The demands on your time can be tough.

“There are credit loads that need to be maintained, and you need to remain on pace toward degree completion to remain eligible, so to have this kind of department-wide success is great news.”

The men’s basketball team had a fall GPA of 2.92, its best semester since fall 2010, and the men’s track and field team came in at 2.84, its best performance since fall 2009.

The department’s term GPA of 3.09 was well above the University’s undergraduate average of 2.83. Student-athletes also completed an average load of 13.34 credit hours compared to the University average of 11.76.