National Champion Georgia Bulldogs Reject Biden’s White House Invitation

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

The national champion college football team from Georgia has declined a request to visit the White House.

The Bulldogs won’t be able to attend a gathering with other collegiate teams on June 12 at the White House, according to a statement issued by the Georgia Athletic Association on Tuesday. Joe and Jill Biden refer to the occasion as “College Athlete Day” on June 12, when the White House will host a number of champions from various sports and divisions in a celebration for NCAA championship teams.

According to Georgia’s statement, the team’s itinerary conflicts with the suggested date that was included in an invitation that was sent out earlier this month. According to The Athletic, Georgia and the White House discussed potential dates for the invitation but were unable to come to a decision.

“The University of Georgia first received on May 3 an invitation for the Bulldog football team to visit the White House on June 12. Unfortunately, the date suggested is not feasible given the student-athlete calendar and time of year. However, we are appreciative of the invitation and look forward to other opportunities for Georgia teams moving forward.”

In January, Georgia won the national title for the second time in a row and now it will be the second time in a row in which the team will not visit the White Hosue in celebration of their victory, as COVID-19 rules prevented a visit last year.

According to Yahoo Sports, the White House’s decision to celebrate numerous college teams in June is inconvenient for the University of Georgia because some of its players have already been drafted by NFL teams and are preparing for their first training camp.

The White House event “comes at a time when athletes are in the midst of June workouts with eight new high school recruits expected to be enrolled,” CBS analyst Shehan Jeyarajah said, according to CBS.

“Additionally, 25 players have left via either graduation, transfer portal or the NFL draft since the Bulldogs won the 2022 national championship. Historically, college football teams tend to visit the White House within months of winning a championship to lessen the amount of turnover expected on a title roster,” Jeyarajah said, speaking of Georgia’s team.

After Georgia defeated TCU in January to become the best college football team in the country, President Joe Biden did not immediately extend an invitation, according to Fox News.

Legislators then made an effort to invite the team.

“For years, the college football national champion has had the high honor of being hosted, by the President, at the White House. Due to COVID-19 constraints, the 2021-22 University of Georgia national championship team was unable to come to D.C. It is our hope that this repeat championship team can join the many teams prior that have been honored by the President,” the officials wrote in a request.

According to USA Today, the men’s and women’s basketball teams from the University of Connecticut and Louisiana State University will each attend a different White House event on May 26.

Angel Reese, a prominent player for LSU, had announced in April that she would not attend the White House event owing to the comment made by first lady Jill Biden that NCAA tournament runner-up Iowa should also be invited. Instead, she would prefer to meet with former President Barack Obama.

According to USA Today, LSU did not specify which players would attend when it said it would accept the offer.


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