WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nearly half of the crowd at Saturday’s Elite 8 game between Syracuse and Marquette at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. booed President Barack Obama when he was shown on the big screen with just over ten minutes to play in the first half. After the boos erupted, a contingent of Obama supporters countered with cheers.
Obama also golfed on Saturday for the first time since the sequester cuts went into effect at the beginning of March and then took some of his foursome–and his Secret Service detail–to watch Syracuse oust Marquette and secure a trip to the Final Four.
One would have expected a friendlier crowd for the President, but there are still several possible explanations for the boos. Obama and his White House team had supported Georgetown (Syracuse’s rival) in the past, and the President had forecast Indiana (who was eliminated by Syracuse) to win the East Regional and go on to win the national title, for example. Or, perhaps they booed because POTUS had gone to the game with Secret Service agents while the White House remains closed to tours.
The Obama administration canceled the popular White House tours citing Secret Service costs. Throughout the week, Obama has been scrutinized because of Secret Service expenditures for the First Daughters’ vacations to the Bahamas and Sun Valley, Idaho.
UPDATE: Twitterers confirm Breitbart News’s report that President Obama was booed at the Marquette vs. Syracuse game (time stamps on tweets are Eastern Daylight Time):
[Mark Packer is Host of College Sports Today on SiriusXM.]
[Marshall Henderson plays basketball for the Ole Miss Rebels.]
[Lance Allan is Sports Anchor for Today’s TMJ4, NBC’s Milwaukee affiliate.]
[Rob Dauster is Head Writer for College Basketball Talk.]
This story has been updated.
Cole Muzio and Tony Lee contributed to this report.
photo credit: John Pudner