The Villanova men's basketball team's only visit to Washington, D.C. over the next few months will be to play Georgetown.
The Wildcats won't be going to the White House to celebrate their second national title in the past three years.
Nearly eight months after cutting down the nets, Villanova has not received an invitation to the traditional champions' ceremony with the president, coach Jay Wright said Thursday during Big East media day.
If one were to come at this point, Wright said, "We probably wouldn’t be able to get everybody together. We’ve lost staff members, we’ve lost players (to the NBA)."
After winning the NCAA tournament in April of 2016, Wright’s Wildcats visited President Barack Obama in late May.
"Two years ago it was the experience of a lifetime for all of us," Wright said. "It’s just a different time and I understand it. So it is what it is.”
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The move continues a trend at all levels of the basketball world during Donald Trump's presidency.
After North Carolina men’s basketball won the 2017 NCAA title, the university announced in September that the team was invited but “couldn’t find a date that worked” and never visited.
The two-time defending NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors, elected to pass up a visit in 2017 and were not invited after repeating last June.
From the WNBA, Trump did not invite the 2017 champ Minnesota Lynx and the 2018 champion Seattle Storm has not been invited after several players indicated they were uninterested in going.
In women’s college basketball, 2017 NCAA champ South Carolina declined an invitation after receiving it in November of that year — once the season already was underway. The 2018 champ, Notre Dame, has not yet visited or indicated that an invitation has been extended.
So Trump is 0-for-8 thus far on American basketball champions.
By contrast, Trump hosted Alabama’s football team in April, four months after the Crimson Tide won the 2018 NCAA title. Last year’s World Series champion, the Houston Astros, visited the White House in March—five months after their triumph.
In early June, the defending Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles had their invitation rescinded by Trump after it became clear that most of the team would not attend the already-planned ceremony.
In announcing the decision to rescind, Trump bashed the Eagles for kneeling during the national anthem — when in fact none of them had kneeled during the regular season or playoffs.
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