Oct. 3, 2002
The Stanford University athletic department was chosen as the second-best sport college in America by Sports Illustrated this week in a special report by Phil Taylor who ranked all 324 Division I athletic programs nationally.
"To be mentioned as one of the top athletic programs in the nation is an honor," said athletic director Ted Leland. "Stanford Athletics has enjoyed success both on and off the playing fields and it is a compliment to our coaching staff, our student-athletes and our administrative staff to be recognized as one of the best overall programs in the country."
Stanford is the only Pac-10 school in the top 10 as six conference schools ranked in the top 25 while nine were in the top 50 nationally. UCLA checked in ranked No. 11, Arizona at No. 18, Oregon at No. 20, Southern California at No. 21 and Arizona State at No. 25. Washington came in ranked No. 32 and California is ranked 34th. Washington State sits at No. 48.
The Cardinal tied for third nationally for the highest graduation rates for athletes which stands at an impressive 90 percent. Stanford was also tabbed the top athletic school in the Pac-10 Conference.
Stanford won their eighth consecutive Sears Cup in 2001-02 in addition to four NCAA national titles (women's water polo, women's volleyball, men's water polo and women's tennis) and had 18 individuals claim NCAA titles.
In a SI special report, Phil Taylor talks about the top Division I athletic programs in his special report "Best Sports Colleges", where Stanford and Texas vied for the top of the rankings over all 324 Division I sports programs. The variety of criteria used by SI to rate the top athletic programs included the following: performances from the 2001-02 academic year in five sports (baseball, men's and women's basketball, football, hockey); a school's ranking in the 2001-02 Sears Cup NCAA Division I all-sports standings (where Stanford was No. 1, Texas was No. 2); the number of varsity, club and intramural sports offered; the range of recreational activities; and whether or not a school held "spirit-boosting" events such as basketball's Midnight Madness, for example.
Sports Illustrated ranked all 324 Division I schools for its story as well as the top Division II and III schools.
This week's cover features four Stanford University student-athletes on the left side of the cover facing four University of Texas student-athletes on the right side. The four Stanford athletes pictured are two-sport athlete Teyo Johnson (football/men's basketball); All-American women's basketball player Nicole Powell; U.S. National Water Polo team member and last year's National Player of the Year Tony Acevedo; and two-sport standout Marcia Wallis (women's soccer/women's golf). The red, white and blue cover reads "America's Best Sports Colleges .. Who's No. 1? Stanford vs. Texas".
This week's SI magazine will be on the shelves today, Thursday, October 3. Here is the link to the online version of Sports Illustrated, where you can view the cover of this week's magazine and the ratings of all 324 Division I athletic programs: SI Best Sports Colleges.