December 07, 2010 09:30 ET

STACK Announces 4th Annual Elite 50 College Rankings; Stanford Three-Peats as Top School for Student-Athletes

Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, UCLA, Duke, Texas A&M, Ohio State and USC Among Best Schools for Academically Minded Athletes

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - December 7, 2010) - For the fourth year in a row, STACK Media, the nation's leader in sports performance information and services, analyzed the academic and athletic programs of major U.S. colleges and universities, crunched thousands of numbers and compiled its exclusive Elite 50 College Rankings. STACK is the only media company that evaluates schools both in the classroom and on the field. The multi-platform media and marketing company published its latest Rankings today -- on and in the Holiday 2010 issue of STACK magazine. The magazine's 14-page feature will be read and studied by nearly 5 million high school athletes* in over 12,000 high schools nationwide starting this week.

For the third year in a row, Stanford University earned the #1 spot. The Palo Alto powerhouse came out on top in 10 of the 21 sports covered by STACK, up from 7 last year.

The University of Florida failed to dethrone the champs, but the Gators of Gainesville repeated their silver medal finish, this time surpassing USC to become STACK's leading football program. Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, UCLA, Duke, Texas A&M, Ohio State and USC rounded out the Top 10 schools for athletes who want to get to the next level both academically and in their sports.

STACK's rankings are based on key measures of scholastic and athletic performance, including America's Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Added to the criteria this year: Sanctions. Sport programs currently under sanctions, such as USC football, got zero points for their sport, hurting their school's overall ranking. A full summary of the Elite 50 methodology is outlined in the magazine and at

"The Elite 50 is a powerful research tool, not only for any high school athlete looking to compete and study at the next level, but also for coaches, administrators, and parents," said STACK Co-Founder Nick Palazzo. "As high school competition for college scholarships increases, athletes and their support groups need, more than ever, an unbiased side-by-side comparison of sports programs to help them make what is arguably the most important decision of their life."

Palazzo's partner and Co-Founder Chad Zimmerman added, "Colleges and universities have a tremendous responsibility to help their recruits develop physically and mentally. The Elite 50 provides much needed and well-deserved recognition of the institutions that are doing the best job of grooming the next generation of student-athletes."

*Source: MRI 2009 readership study

STACK is the nation's leading producer and distributor of performance, training and lifestyle content for active sports participants. Through unprecedented access to the best professional athletes and trainers, STACK empowers high school, college and other athletes with performance information and advice that's safe and effective. STACK platforms include: STACK Media, one of the top sports properties on the Internet, with an average of 4.9 million unique visitors per month; STACK Magazine, targeted to high school athletes, with a circulation of 810,000 and readership of nearly 5 million, distributed in 12,000 high schools across the country;, the digital home of all STACK content and web-based tools; STACK TV, an online platform with a library of more than 6,000 proprietary videos; the STACK Blog, daily updates on topics of interest For the Athlete By the Athlete; and MySTACK, a social networking and recruiting site for high school athletes. Learn more at and

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