Athens, Ga. — Georgia’s national championship football team is declining an invitation to visit the White House.
According to a statement released by the Georgia athletic association on Tuesday, the Bulldogs won’t be able to attend a June 12 event with other college teams at the White House. The event is described by President Biden and first lady Jill Biden as “College Athlete Day.”
The statement from Georgia says the team’s schedule interferes with the suggested date in an invitation received earlier this month.
“The University of Georgia first received on May 3 an invitation for the Bulldog football team to visit the White House on June 12,” the statement from the athletic association said. “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.”
Georgia didn’t provide more specifics of the schedule conflict.
Coach Kirby Smart and quarterback Stetson Bennett led Georgia to its second consecutive national championship with a 65-7 runaway win over TCU.
Some professional championship teams, including the 2021 Atlanta Braves, have made White House visits during the Biden administration. This year’s NCAA men’s and women’s championship basketball teams from Connecticut and Louisiana State, respectively, are scheduled to visit the White House on May 26.
CBSSports.com’s Shehan Jeyarajah notes that June 12 “comes at a time when athletes are in the midst of June workouts with eight new high school recruits expected to be enrolled. 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 points out that, “No college football team has visited the White House since LSU in January 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Both 2020 Alabama and 2021 Georgia did not receive invitations due to pandemic precautions.”
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