Over the past few days Maryland and Rutgers have left the ACC and Big East for the Big Ten conference. As a result of their departures it’s highly likely that the ACC is going to replace the Terapins with yet another Big East program, probably UConn. Amidst the chaos the higher-ups at the University of Cincinnati have been on lock down trying to make sense of the ever changing environment of college athletics and figure out just where the school fits.
In an attempt to ease the concerns of Bearcat fans, President Santa Ono addressed the community:
If you are having a hard time reading the letter (it’s rather small, isn’t it?) I will post a full copy of it at the end of this post.
What stood out to me almost immediately was no mention of the Big East, the Big 12, the ACC, or any conference affiliation with the university. That’s not to say Cincinnati is about to declare Indepedence or anything, but the fact he doesn’t mention a conference is telling. Unlike the letters from previous UC president Greg Williams, which focused on unity with and loyalty to the Big East, this one appears to suggest that Cincinnati will position itself in the best place possible, other schools be-damned.
I’m not sure what the future holds for UC athletics but the message is clear, ladies and gentlemen; It’s every Big East school for itself.
Below is President Ono’s letter in it’s entirety:
Dear UC Community,
Given the recent developments in athletics conference realignment, I want our Bearcat family to know that we are not only closely monitoring the situation but also working proactively to protect and serve the best interests of the University.
Our message to the broader community is that UC is firmly committed to competing at the highest level, both on and off the field. From our research profile to our number of national merit scholars, UC stands tall as one of the top public research universities in the nation. Moreover, we are building a remarkable amount of momentum, as evidenced by our 17 spot leap in the U.S. News & World Report ranking over the past two years.
Also impressive is the heightened success of our athletic programs. Last year, for instance, UC ended the season with top 25 finishes in both football and basketball—a fact that only five other schools in the country can claim. Plus, the academic success of our student-athletes has never been stronger.
In short, UC has a terrific story to tell, and we will not miss an opportunity to share our aspirations and accomplishments with our peers.
During this time of fast-paced developments, as well as widespread rumors, I respectfully ask for your patience and understanding. Please know that we are doing all that we can to secure the best outcome for UC.
I deeply appreciate the input and support of our loyal fans as well as the tremendous efforts of our teams, coaches, student-athletes and athletic director.
Santa J. Ono, President