Spring sports were practically nonexistent at the University of Montana due to the COVID 19 pandemic, but that didn’t keep student athletes from excelling in the virtual classroom.

UM Associate Athletic Director for Student Affairs and NCAA Compliance Jean Gee said the student athletes excelled despite the coronavirus.

“It’s a bit unusual this year because typically, you have to have participated in at least 50 percent of the competition, but obviously because spring sports were cancelled  that piece of it was not a consideration,” said Gee. “The academic side of it is having at least a cumulative 3.2 GPA.”

Gee said athletes are not in danger of losing their scholarships even though they cannot participate in their respective sports.

“They are not,” she said. “That’s the great thing. Even though they cannot for example their scholarships are maintained, so it does not affect their scholarships at all. Their scholarships typically are not impacted by not being able to play regardless of COVID, so especially when it’s something outside of their control, so we’re proceeding as normal for fall. Everyone who is on scholarship are doing their scholarship renewals and signing their new scholarships, so business as usual for that.”

Gee then emphasized how much more is demanded from student athletes academically than those in the general student population.

There are quite a few NCAA requirements as far as academic progress,” she said. They can’t just willy-nilly take whatever classes they want. Whether they do well or not they do have to be making progress on towards their degree. There are certain GPA requirements, a certain number of credits they have to pass every semester and every year any by far they have the highest level of requirements of any student on a campus.”

Gee said the student athletes have not had the use of the Academic Center on campus during the campus shutdown, but they plan to reopen in the fall.