The University of Georgia Bulldogs has declined to go to the White House in order to celebrate their National Championship.
The Bulldogs are a college football powerhouse. They have been for two years in a row. In their last 30 matches, they have only lost one game. That was against Alabama in December 2021 in the SEC Championship Game. In the College Football Playoff 2022, they won by a single point, 42-41 against Ohio State in an exciting semifinal matchup before thrashing TCU 65-7.
The Bulldogs and their coach Kirby Smart have much to be happy about. Their celebration tour won’t include 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, after they turned down yet another invitation to visit the White House.
Georgia was invited by President Joe Biden, his wife Jill and the College Athlete Day event scheduled for 12 June. The Bulldogs politely refused the invitation citing possible scheduling conflicts.
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The Athletic Association of UGA released a statement that read: “The University of Georgia received an invitation on May 3 for the Bulldog Football team to visit Washington, D.C. on June 12, the first time.” The date proposed is unfortunately not possible due to the calendar of student-athletes and the time of the year. We are grateful for the invitation, and we look forward to future opportunities for Georgia teams.
The statement implied that Georgia officials might also feel betrayed by the late notification, despite the apparent reasonable excuse. Trey Wallace, of OutKick, noted that previous college football champs visited the White House in days or even weeks after their victory, and not six months afterwards. Wallace called the timing of the event “weird,” and noted that many players from the championship team have been drafted to the NFL recently, including quarterback Stetson Bennet. This makes their appearance at a college-related function unlikely.
In 2021, the Bulldogs declined an invite to the White House as well, citing concerns about COVID. Georgia beat Alabama 33-18 that year in the championship game. This was just a few short weeks after Alabama defeated the Bulldogs by 41-24 at the conference championship. The Bulldogs’ 2023 season will begin on September 2 when they play the Skyhawks of University of Tennessee in Martin. ESPN has Georgia ranked No. 1 as expected. In its 2023 preseason ranking, ESPN has Georgia ranked No. 1.