UNC AD Bubba Cunningham: We want the ACC to be our home for another 60 years

acarter@newsobserver.comNovember 27, 2012 

Bubba Cunningham shakes hands with well-wishers at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill on Friday, October 14, 2011. The UNC Board of Trustees approved his hiring as the new director of athletics at UNC-Chapel Hill. Cunningham, 49, signed a six-year contract that will pay him an annual salary of $525,000. He'll officially begin on November 14, 2011, succeeding Dick Baddour who served as athletic director for the past fifteen years.


Amid rumors that North Carolina might be interested in leaving the ACC to join another conference, Bubba Cunningham, the UNC athletic director, emailed a letter today to UNC supporters that reaffirmed the university’s commitment to the ACC.

In the days since Maryland announced it would leave the ACC to join the Big Ten, Cunningham has received correspondence from UNC fans who have expressed concern about the Tar Heels’ affiliation with the ACC. Further, some national media members have speculated whether UNC would be interested in another conference.

In his letter, Cunningham dismissed such speculation. Here are his words:

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding conference affiliation for the University of North Carolina. Conference alignment is a topic of much discussion nationally these days and we understand that our fans are passionate and knowledgeable of their sports programs.

Carolina is a charter member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and we believe the ACC is the finest conference in the nation. The ACC has been our home for nearly 60 years and we want it to be our home for another 60 years at least. Our speculating on what other league may be better for the Tar Heels would not be productive. We are part of a great league with a strong future and we know that the ACC leadership is serious in its efforts to strengthen the conference and position it for long-term success.

All of us in the ACC, including the league office and individual schools, continue to carefully monitor the changes that take place in conference alignment. But again, we are proud members of a great league and are looking forward to many more years of success in the ACC by the Tar Heels and other ACC schools.

Bubba Cunningham

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