AD seeks to calm realignment rumors

With conference realignment rumors swirling, North Carolina took the unusual step Tuesday of saying it wants to stay in the ACC "for another 60 years at least."

North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham sent an email reply to Tar Heels fans in an attempt to calm a flurry of rumors that had UNC possibly headed to another conference.

"Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding conference affiliation for the University of North Carolina," Cunningham wrote. "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."

ACC charter member Maryland announced last week that it is leaving the conference, prompting a flood of realignment rumors. Tuesday, Tulane said it is joining the Big East in all sports starting in 2014, and East Carolina said it is joining the league in football that year.

ESPN.com's Robbi Pickeral contributed to this report.