The University of Georgia’s national championship football team has turned down an invitation to visit the Biden White House.
The explanation given is that the date picked by the White House does not fit with what the team and its current and former players will be doing, according to ESPN.
Georgia won its second consecutive national championship in January.
However, this will also be the second year running when there will be no White House visit as COVID-19 rules prevented a visit last year.
“The University of Georgia first received on May 3 an invitation for the Bulldog football team to visit the White House on June 12,” a statement from Georgia’s 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.”
A report by Yahoo Sports noted that the June date picked by the White House, when it will honor multiple college teams, was a bad fit for Georgia because some players were drafted by NFL teams and are in the process of getting ready for their first pro training camp.
The White House date “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.
President Joe Biden did not initially invite Georgia after its January victory over TCU to become the nation’s top college football team, according to Fox News.
That led to efforts by legislators to get the team invited.
“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.
The June 12 event will feature multiple top college teams, according to Sports Illustrated.
On May 26, the Louisiana State University women’s basketball team and the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team will attend separate White House events, according to USA Today.
LSU star Angel Reese, miffed after first lady Jill Biden made an offhand comment that NCAA tournament runner-up Iowa should also be invited, had said in April she would not attend the White House event due to the comment and would prefer to meet with former President Barack Obama.
In announcing that it would accept the invitation, LSU did not announce which players would attend, according to USA Today.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.