Notre Dame Football Sets Record With Spring GPA, Tops Other Major Programs
Andrew Mentock • BlueAndGold
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The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a dramatic impact on every college football team, Notre Dame included. First, the Fighting Irish had 14 of their 15 spring practices canceled, followed by the loss of most major unofficial and official recruiting visit weekends.
One area where the pandemic may have helped the program is when it comes to the team's overall grade-point average, which set a record high for a semester in the spring of 2020 with a 3.4.
Notre Dame Football✔@NDFootball
We are very proud of the tremendous job our student-athletes did in the classroom this spring. Amidst all the uncertainty of the pandemic, they achieved a record setting team GPA.
Congratulations to the entire group!#GraduatingChampions
What's perhaps even more impressive is that 86 players achieved a 3.0 or better, so this achievement was accomplished collectively and not because a group of walk-ons or academically inclined players carried the team with astronomically high GPAs.
It surprising that only five of the 86 players with at least a 3.0 made the Dean's List. That is, until you consider the requirements to do so are much higher than they are at many other schools, where a 3.5 GPA will do the trick. At Notre Dame, GPA requirements vary by college and, in the spring of 2020, students need anywhere from a 3.733 to a 3.897 to make the Dean's List.
Part of the reason the team achieved such a high GPA this spring could be that, in light of the pandemic and the suspension of in-person learning, students were allowed to see their final grade before determining if they would like to receive a letter grade or take that class pass/no credit.
This is not to take a shot at any of the above universities or their football programs, which are fine academic institutions, but it does exemplify how impressive have a collective 3.4 is for Notre Dame Football—a top-15 United States college according to the U.S. News & World Report.
It's also not rare for Notre Dame to have a team GPA above a 3.0, dating back to at least the Charlie Weis era. While a 3.4 may not be achievable every year, it's encouraging to see that the players have the support and academic drive to have so much success in the classroom.