Tony Bennett and the Virginia men’s basketball team will not be making the customary trip to the White House to celebrate their national championship, the school announced on Friday.
It’s not clear if President Donald Trump extended an invitation to the Cavaliers after their overtime win against Texas Tech in the national championship game. Bennett, however, didn’t cite a political issue as their reason for not going — as several teams in the past have done.
Instead, he said it was simply a logistical issue to get everyone together to actually make the trip.
“With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together,” Bennett said. “We would have to respectfully decline an invitation.”
“We have received inquiries about a visit to the White House. With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together. We would have to respectfully decline an invitation.” – Tony Bennett
— Virginia Men’s Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) April 26, 2019
Several key Cavaliers players have already declared for the NBA draft, including De’Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy.
Traditionally, both professional and collegiate teams are invited to celebrate with the President at the White House after winning a championship. Under the Trump administration, however, this has not always been the case. Several teams, both collegiate and professional, have either declined invitations or have not been invited at all.
The Baylor women’s basketball team did accept an invitation to visit Trump at the White House after winning the national championship earlier this month. The Lady Bears are scheduled to make the trip on Monday, marking the first time under the Trump administration that a women’s basketball team has done so.