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Friday, April 19, 2024

College Football Nat’l Champs U.Ga. Reject Biden Invitation to White House

'The date suggested is not feasible given the student-athlete calendar and time of year...'

(Corine GattiHeadline USA) In a surprising move, the University of Georgia Bulldogs announced on Tuesday that they had declined an invitation extended to them from President Joe Biden labeled “College Athlete Day,” the New York Post reported.   

The team received an invitation last week to visit the White House on June 12. However, “the date suggested is not feasible given the student–athlete calendar and time of year,” a team spokesperson said. 

According to U.Ga.’s academic calendar, the date coincides with the end of the school’s summer session, a time when many students are unlikely to be on campus, although it is uncertain whether that was the specific conflict being cited.

“We are appreciative of the invitation and look forward to other opportunities for Georgia teams moving forward,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier this year, fans and supporters were incensed by the postponed recognition of the team, who went 15-0 last season and won the NCAA’s College Football National Championship Trophy in January. The team also did not visit the White House after its championship in 2021 because of pandemic restrictions.

Supporters expressed their frustrations about the delayed recognition of the champions in January—and prompted the entire Georgia congressional delegation, led by Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter, a Republican, to send a letter to the White House asking the team to be recognized “at your earliest convenience.”

The bipartisan group of Georgia’s congressional delegation suggested at the time that the team would welcome an invitation to visit the White House, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

“It is our hope that this repeat championship team can join the many teams prior that have been honored by the President,” they wrote.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will host the Louisiana State University Tigers women’s basketball team and the University of Connecticut Huskies men’s basketball team on May 26 in two separate ceremonies honoring their respective national-championship titles.

The invitation came after Tigers star Angel Reese spoke out against the first lady’s controversial suggestion that both LSU and second-place team University of Iowa should be invited to the ceremony.

The first lady backed off the idea after receiving backlash from Reese and others, although Reese declined to accept her apology.

“I said what I said. You can’t go back on certain things that you say,” she responded in an interview, before suggesting that the LSU players would instead prefer to visit former first lady Michelle Obama.

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