1. Football coaching hire: It's possible interim head coach Everett Withers could win so many games that the decision becomes relatively simple. If not - or if Cunningham wants his own person - the decision will largely define the new AD's career. Whether it's Withers or someone else, Cunningham has to make 100 percent certain that the transgressions of the past few years aren't repeated.
2. Fence mending: The pro and anti Butch Davis factions need to be united. But the academic scandal and player/agents dealings have damaged the school's image in general and the football program specifically. The faculty hasn't been overly critical, but there are probably some skeptics.
3. Finances: With a 28-sport operation, 850 athletes and an $11.6 million annual sports scholarship bill, UNC is in the financial fast lane of college athletics. A recent proposal for a $90 annual increase in student athletic fees has been reduced to $45. If passed by a student government committee, the annual fee for students will be $319.50. But departing AD Dick Baddour thinks a major tuition hike is coming in 2012-13.
4. Basketball balance: For better or worse, football has hogged the headlines for more than a year, but basketball is still the undisputed king of UNC sports. Cunningham will need to develop and maintain a close friendship with Roy Williams to keep true harmony in the department.
5. Realignment, expansion: There's no reason to assume the framework and foundation of college athletics will stabilize. Conference shuffling is likely to continue and the ACC isn't immune to fragmentation. Cunningham will have to be prepared to keep UNC in the best place possible.