Virginia will not visit Donald Trump at White House after national championship win

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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - APRIL 08: Head coach Tony Bennett of the Virginia Cavaliers raises the net after defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the 2019 NCAA men's Final Four National Championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Virginia coach Tony Bennett said his team will not celebrate its national championship at the White House with Donald Trump, citing logistical issues. (Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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.”

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.

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