In a sudden turn of events, Santa Ono will no longer be the president of the University of Cincinnati. The Vancouver Sun reported that Ono will be announced as the new president of the University of British Columbia this afternoon, which means the man with the red and black bow tie will be shipping out of the Queen City.
Rumors about Ono's departure had been circling for a bit, but had largely been cast aside. That was until the Sun reported Sunday night that Ono was expected to be announced as the next president of UBC. According to the Sun, Ono checked into a hotel in Vancouver on Saturday and he and his wife were in the city two weeks ago.
From a personal standpoint, the move makes all the sense in the world. Ono is originally from Vancouver and, according to the Sun, his father taught at UBC in the early 1960s.
Ono was a beloved president and bastion for UC far beyond the realm of athletics, turning down bonuses, speaking out about suicide prevention and aid to mental health, all while helping push the university forward academically. Plus he will always be the #HottestPresidentInAmerica.
His presidency coincided with some important steps forward for the Bearcats athletic department as well. He has been a vocal supporter and active petitioner for UC's inclusion in the Big 12 as well and helped oversee the plans for the Nippert Stadium expansion as well as the planned upgrade of Fifth Third Arena.
There is a tendency in these situations to bash the departing party. Some may point to the fact that Ono promised to stick with UC for 10 years as a reason to be hoarse with rage today. While it is true that he will be breaking that vow, it is not just for a money grab. He is going from his adopted home (Cincinnati) back to his hometown (Vancouver). Its tough to blame anyone for doing that.
Ono was a great president for UC academically, athletically, social media-ly and, not least of all, fashionably. Whoever becomes the 29th president in UC history has his or her work cut out for them.