Every women’s college basketball champion since 1983 has been invited to visit the White House and meet with the President, according to the USA Today.
Except for South Carolina and head coach Dawn Staley this year.
Speaking with the Associated Press on Friday night, Staley said that her champion Gamecocks have yet to receive an invitation from President Donald Trump’s White House despite numerous other athletic teams recently being involved in the visitation process. The past five Presidents have invited women’s college basketball champions to the White House in an event that has become a standard yearly procedure.
While President Trump famously rescinded an invitation to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Twitter last week, the Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins were also invited to the White House by Trump. The Chicago Cubs and New England Patriots have also visited with President Trump since he took office.
Both the Warriors and Penguins won titles at least a month after South Carolina’s win over Mississippi State in April.
Men’s college basketball national champion North Carolina tried to make “eight or nine dates” work to visit President Trump at the White House, according to a team spokesman last week. Clemson’s football title team has also visited with President Trump since winning the national title, so the President’s staff has also been aggressive about getting college teams to visit.
Except for the South Carolina women’s team.
“We haven’t gotten an invitation yet and that in itself speaks volumes,” Staley said to the Associated Press. “We won before those other teams won their championships. I don’t know what else has to happen.”
When South Carolina won its national championship, Staley said she would be open to visiting President Trump at the White House.
After the way some things have happened during President Trump’s tenure in office, Staley isn’t so sure the team would visit now if they were invited. Staley told the AP that those comments about visiting the White House came before, “some things transpired over the last few months. I haven’t talked to anyone about it. I got bigger fish to fry than worry about an invitation.”
Staley also serves as the current head coach of the USA women’s basketball team after she won three gold medals as a player with USA Basketball in the Olympics. During the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Staley was selected to be the flagbearer for the United States during the opening ceremony — considered a tremendous honor for an American athlete.