President Obama, an avid sports fan, enjoyed some time with the members of the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide nearly an hour before explosions tragically killed three Americans and injured more than 150 others.
In his speech that lasted nearly five minutes, Obama offered condolences to the family of former Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore, who passed away on March 30. He praised the back-to-back national champions for their success.
“I want to congratulate them on winning their 15th national championship and their third in four years. They are starting to learn their way around the White House,” Obama said. “I was thinking about just having some cots for them here, they’re here so often, except we couldn’t find any big enough.”
Obama visited with Alabama even though the White House tours are still canceled because of the sequester.
Nearly an hour after the ceremony, the tragic Boston Marathon bombings occurred.
This article has been updated.