Ever since Maryland decided to leave the ACC for the Big Ten last week, many have speculated what school might be next to leave the conference. Virginia’s name has come up frequently on message board threads, Twitter chatter and even a few published reports so much so that Athletic Director Craig Littlepage felt compelled to respond.
On Tuesday evening, he released a statement re-affirming Virginia’s commitment to the ACC. Littlepage emphasized that the school has had no contact with another conference nor had it been approached by any other league. He also expressed hope that this would put an end to any rumors suggesting the Cavaliers were looking to move to another conference.
Here’s the full statement from Littlepage:
“During the past week there have been numerous reports and rumors linking the University of Virginia to interest in membership in other athletic conferences. Due to the recent changes that have taken place with conference realignment around the nation, I think it is important for us to put an end to this speculation as it relates to UVa.
“The University of Virginia is a proud member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Neither representatives of the athletic department, nor President Teresa Sullivan, has received invitations to nor sought membership in other conferences. The ACC’s commitment to its members and their student-athletes is the finest in this country. We look forward to continuing this relationship far into the future. Our goal is to continue supporting the ACC and its initiatives for long-term success.
“I have expressed this stance to ACC Commissioner John Swofford, and I want to take this opportunity to express that same commitment to our alumni, fans, supporters, student-athletes and coaches. We firmly stand behind the Atlantic Coast Conference.”
North Carolina Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham offered a similar sentiment in an e-mail to Tar Heels supporters Tuesday. He also expressed North Carolina’s commitment to the ACC, writing that he the conference would “be our home for another 60 years at least.”
This all comes in the aftermath of the ACC filing a suit against Maryland in a North Carolina court over the league’s $50 million exit fee.