The South Carolina women’s basketball team, last season’s champions, have declined an invitation to visit the White House tomorrow due to what coach Dawn Staley described as a scheduling conflict and a desire to focus on their current play:
The team played at Clemson tonight (and won, 66-36) and next play Wofford at home on Sunday, with a practice scheduled for tomorrow according to The (Columbia) State.
Back in June, Staley said that she would go to the White House when the team was invited but would allow her players to make their own decisions. The matter of an invitation seemed to be a question of when rather than if: every women’s basketball champion has been invited to the White House since 1983. But that invite didn’t come for months.
“We haven’t gotten an invitation yet and that in itself speaks volumes,” Staley told reporters in September. That led Nikki Haley—former South Carolina governor and current ambassador to the United Nations—to come forward and say that the team would be invited later in the fall, with an exact date to be determined.
The invite for tomorrow’s event ultimately came “earlier this month,” according to The State, but it seems that it was too late for Staley and her team.