Student athletes at the University of Montana are an academic force to be reckoned with. Senior Associate Athletic Director Jean Gee said 305 student-athletes had an average GPA of 3.17 for the 2016 spring semester, the best term in the record-keeping era, which dates back to the 1999 fall semester, all while taking an average course load of 14.1 credits.

"Another great semester in the classroom...Highest both cumulative GPA and term GPA for student athletes in all of the time that we've been recording, it's the highest in both categories," Gee said. "All time low number of student athletes on academic probation. And in all of our sports, 100 percent achieved above a 3.0 for the semester."

Gee said some credit is due to the new academic center on campus.

"For them to have very easy access to a very quiet and academically oriented place that even if they have half-an-hour or 45 minutes between let's say weight lifting in the morning and their first class, that they can go in there and spend some quality time doing some academic reading or doing their homework," Gee said. "It definitely is a factor."

Gee said the NCAA requires student athletes to uphold many different academic rules including GPA, number of credits completed and major declaration.