Kirby Smart Explains Why Georgia Bulldogs Declined White House Visit: ‘Nothing Political About It’

University of Georgia coach Kirby Smart

Getty Image / Jeffrey Vest / Icon Sportswire

Reigning College Football National Champions, the Georgia Bulldogs, announced earlier this week that they will forego the traditional White House visit that’s offered to championship teams.

The first back-to-back champions of the College Football Playoffs era declined the invitation from President Joe Biden and the White House to visit on June 12th, missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many players.

On Wednesday, Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart played in the Regions Celebrity Pro-Am golf tourney in Birmingham. Prior to his round, Coach Smart was asked about the decision to decline the White House’s invitation.

Kirby Smart flat out said there’s “nothing political about it,” shutting down any speculation that declining the invitation was rooted in politics.

When asked about declining the Georgia Bulldogs’ White House visit, he called it a “tough deal.” Adding that “timeline-wise it didn’t work.”

Smart says he went three times when he was coaching at the University of Alabama. Saying that traditionally “you get invited right after the game and that didn’t happen” and a date wasn’t set.

Kirby Smart went on to explain that the Georgia Bulldogs “have 700 kids coming to a football camp” in Athens on June 6, 7, and 8. He called it the “number one time for recruiting for football coaches.”

Coach Smart added “when you have 600-700 kids coming to your campus you can’t take 200 people to the White House and have no one on campus.” Kirby said it was “the time (that) didn’t work out, nothing political about it.” He finished by saying he’s been before and it’s “very educational and a great experience.”

The Georgia Bulldogs’ White House Visit never materialized after their National Championship two years ago due to ongoing COVID-19 protocols at the White House.

This was set to be the first White House visit for the Georgia players in decades, many of whom just won back-to-back National Championships. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Gotta keep crootin’.