UGA Football Team Declines White House Invitation, Robs Players Of Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity

The University of Georgia football team found itself making more national headlines for something other than sports. After receiving an invitation to visit the White House to celebrate their national championship, the team decided against attending. 

The college released a statement citing a scheduling conflict as the reason for declining the invitation. 

“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,” the team said in a statement. “However, we are appreciative of the invitation and look forward to other opportunities for Georgia teams moving forward.”

UGA’s decision instantly turned into political fodder as some Republicans thanked the school on social media. 

However, UGA head coach Kirby Smart said that politics had little to do with the decision. The team is 

“It’s a tough deal,” Smart said, according to Athens Banner-Herald. “Timeline-wise it didn’t work. Traditionally, I went three times when I was at Alabama and it was right after the game. That didn’t happen. We didn’t have a date set and we’ve got 700 kids at a football camp at our place June 6, 7, 8. It’s the number one time for recruiting for football coaches. You’ve got 600 to 700 kids coming to your campus, you can’t leave to go to the White House and have no one on your campus. So the time just didn’t work out. There was nothing political about it. I’ve been before. It’s very educational. It’s a great experience.”

Georgia was reportedly asked by the White House if any other dates would work, but did not give any dates. 

The decision to skip the White House visit robs multiple student-athletes and staff of the opportunity at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Regardless of who is in office, visiting the White House can be a life-changing experience and a moment that will always be cherished. 

Although UGA will sit out, NCAA men’s and women’s champions, LSU and UCONN, have accepted their invitations to the White House in what will be known as “College Athlete Day.”



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