Kirby Smart: ‘Nothing Political About’ Georgia’s Decision To Not Attend White House Celebration

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Georgia announced this week that it declined an invitation to the White House to celebrate the football team’s 2022 national championship. There were some who made the assumption that this was political, but head coach Kirby Smart put that notion to bed this week.

After receiving a formal invitation on May 3 to visit Washington D.C. in June, the Bulldogs declined the invitation due to scheduling. This took many by surprise, but if you look at previous visits from college football champions, it’s easy to see why Georgia said no thanks.

After winning the 2021 national championship, Georgia did not attend a White House celebration due to Covid restrictions. Now, the back-to-back champions will miss another chance to visit Washington, this time because of the weird timing of having it take place in June.

“Unfortunately, the date suggested is not feasible given the student-athlete calendar and time of year,” Georgia spokesperson noted. “However, we are appreciative of the invitation and look forward to other opportunities for Georgia teams moving forward.”

This Was Not A Political Move According To Kirby Smart

What the White House failed to understand is that the Bulldogs will be knee-deep in recruiting camps, which usually bring in hundreds of future prospects.

In terms of whether or not this was a political move, Kirby Smart cleared up the situation in Alabama this week. While participating at a golf tournament in Birmingham, the Georgia head coach further discussed the matter.

“Tough deal timeline-wise, it didn’t work,” Kirby Smart told TMZ. “Number one time for recruiting for football coaches. When you’ve got 600, 700 kids coming to your campus, you can’t take 200 people to the White House and have no one on campus. The time just didn’t work out. Nothing political about it, but I’ve been before. It’s very educational. It’s a great experience.”

Georgia HC Kirby Smart and QB Stetson Bennett
Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates with Stetson Bennett #13 after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at SoFi Stadium on January 09, 2023 in Inglewood, California. Georgia defeated TCU 65-7. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Before Covid, Clemson was honored on January 14 of 2019, just one week after defeating Alabama to win the national championship. In 2020, after winning the title on a Monday night, LSU was in Washington on January 17, five days after hoisting the trophy. In 2018, Alabama visited the White House to celebrate its title on April 10th.

If Georgia would like to take a visit to the White House in the next calendar year, they’ll just have to win another title, for the third consecutive year.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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