RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – On the topic of conference realignment in college sports, it became official for the Atlantic Coast Conference last week when university leaders decided to expand by adding Stanford, California and SMU to the league.
However, the vote to let these institutions into the ACC wasn’t unanimous, and the University of North Carolina was one of those that voted against expansion.
CBS 17 caught up with UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham at the Raleigh Sports Club on Wednesday. Cunningham said he would have liked to see the ACC add seven of the Pac-12 schools and create a western division to reduce travel.
“Actually my position has been [Stanford, California and SMU are] really far away, and it’d make a significant impact on the travel schedules for our teams, miss classes, the amount of time they will be gone,” he said. “But there’s revenue associated with it, there’s media contracts associated with it.”
Cunningham was upfront about his position, saying that getting only two or three schools from out west didn’t make sense to him.
“I always try to focus on what’s best for our student-athletes, and in this case, I didn’t think it was best,” he said. “But they’re now members of our league and we’re going to be great members with them.”
CBS 17 asked him whether it would be odd dealing with teams moving forward due to the vote.
“I don’t think so – I think what we learned over the last couple of years is to put all your cards on the table,” Cunningham said. “Tell people what you think and sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. And I don’t think you can fault anybody for being honest and forthright in what they say. We’re going to disagree at times, and most of the time we will agree.”