The Florida State football team earned the right to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama by virtue of their national championship win over Auburn, but the Seminoles may not be able to accept the honor.
According to Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher revealed that his team is unlikely to make the trip due to scheduling conflicts.
"We're trying. It looks like it's going to be hard because all the pro players are going, coaches are going on vacation," Fisher told Sonnone. "We've tried to give them a thousand dates, but we couldn't get it worked out."
According to Sonnone's article, nine of the last 10 BCS football champs have visited the White House by March and all 10 have visited at some point in the year that followed their triumph. It's already been five months since FSU beat Auburn at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
A collegiate championship team tends to face more hurdles than professional teams in this regard since several of the Seminoles' key players from last season are now in the NFL, including wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.
With so many important figures from the championship team spread across the country, getting everyone together has to be a massive undertaking.
This wouldn't be the first instance of major sports champions passing on a White House visit, but most past examples have been far more controversial. Chief among them was goaltender Tim Thomas' refusal to visit in 2012 after he led the Boston Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison similarly snubbed the White House in 2009 after passing on the opportunity in 2006 as well.
There hasn't been any indication that Fisher and the rest of the Florida State football program have no desire to go to the White House; rather, they are simply struggling to coordinate everything.
If the Seminoles do officially turn down the chance to go to the White House, then there will inevitably be some who view it as a matter of disrespect. However, until they issue an official statement, all that is clear is that scheduling conflicts have prevented them from making the trip.
The fact of the matter is that Fisher would have to wrangle up more than 100 players and personnel members to ensure that everyone who had a hand in the title is present at the White House, and it just may not be in the cards.
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