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IC: Bubba Is In Town

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Greg Barnes at Inside Carolina is reporting that Tulsa AD Lawrence "Bubba" Cunningham is in Chapel Hill to meet with UNC officials.

The University of North Carolina is in the final stages of hiring Lawrence "Bubba" Cunningham as its new athletic director, ending a nearly seven-week search to replace Dick Baddour.

A source with intimate knowledge of the search process informed Inside Carolina that Cunningham, the current Tulsa athletic director, arrived in North Carolina and met with school officials, including the search committee, on Wednesday.

Inside Carolina first reported Cunningham as a serious candidate for the open position on Sept. 23. Cunningham has not been available for comment.

A Notre Dame graduate, Cunningham has been in his current position since 2005. He served as Ball State’s athletic director for three years prior to taking the Tulsa job after working for 15 years in the Notre Dame athletic department, serving as associate director of athletics for external affairs from 2000-02 and associate athletics director for finance and facilities from 1995-2000.

Bubba(and that is how he will be referenced here at THF) was a candidate for the Kansas AD job last year but did not take it. That possibly had more to do with the fact Kansas had all sorts of messy things going on that involved the words "federal indictment" and "ticket fraud" which may have given Bubba pause. Sure, UNC has the whole NCAA issue but that is the sort of challenge a guy like Bubba would love to take on. We hope anyway.

Rampant speculation and common sense would indicate that should the final details be ironed out over the next 24 hours then look for an official announcement on Friday. UNC has its basketball media day scheduled on Thursday so nothing is going to happen which will overshadow that. That is assuming everything goes smoothly and Holden Thorp doesn't start doing his Thriller dance in front of Bubba.