Skip to main content

UNC AD Bubba Cunningham Talks Florida State-ACC Lawsuit, Future Of University Athletics

Bubba Cunningham gave his insight regarding the ongoing court battle between Florida State and the ACC.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

With Florida State and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) duking it out in the courtroom, University of North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham has issued his thoughts from what appears to be Chapel Hill’s perspective.

From Cunningham’s point of view, UNC has found ways to compete at the highest level, whether it be in basketball, women’s soccer, lacrosse, and occasionally on the gridiron.

In an interview with Inside Carolina, the athletic director stated:

“What we have to do short term is maximize our revenue. We need to continue to sell football tickets and basketball tickets and do what we can from a digital standpoint with the ACC. There's always going to be revenue gaps. It's getting bigger, and it can be more challenging, but I've also said that we have a lot of things that other folks don't have. We're a great location. We're in a great league. We have great competition. We have great coaches. You don't have to have the most money to win. And I think we've demonstrated that in every sport that we have."

However, that has not stopped the athletic director from looking toward the future. Although Cunningham has been “outspoken in the past” concerning FSU’s public, air-out-the-dirty-laundry approach, he mentioned that UNC should take a gander at leaving the conference at the end of the Grant of Rights deal in 2036.

First off, Cunningham speculated that the price of Florida State's buyout should be more than the number currently being floated around.

"If Florida State thinks that they have greater value than our league and want to leave, wouldn't we ask to share in the upside of that greater value?” Cunningham said. “So I'm not sure that $500 [million] is going to be enough. So maybe it's $600 or $700 million to get out of the league. I don't know."

"I think our obligation to the ACC is to be the best partner with our conference that we can possibly be,” Cunningham continued. “I also think that we have to look at what is in the best interest of the university today and going forward. And I think you can do both. I think you can be a great partner and say, we're going to do everything we can to support this league.”

“At the same time, what's going on nationally and how do we put ourselves in the best position between now, 2036 and beyond?" Cunningham concluded. "Being good stewards of the revenues and resources that we have, having great teams that compete at the highest level and recognizing we're in a state that is not in some of the other leagues, either, long-term that is going to be a real asset to us. But when does that occur? I don't have a timetable on that."

It is no secret that UNC has been linked to the “Power Two” conferences as a school possibly on the move throughout the modern conference realignment debacle.

With this in mind, this could be lip service to the ACC in an attempt to see how things play out.

Florida State recently requested “All Documents and Communications related to the decision by the College Football Playoff Committee to exclude Florida State from the championship series for the 2023-2024 college football season."

Now that the results of the CFP and the ACC lawsuit are officially intertwined, the scope of the legal action could reach unprecedented levels.

READ MORE: Jordan Travis Endorses Former Five-Star Prospect After First Season With FSU Football

Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout the offseason.

Follow NoleGameday on Twitter and Facebook