President Barack Obama congratulated another champion with a phone call to Rick Pitino Wednesday. In January, President Obama talked to Nick Saban after Alabama won the football title, and a few weeks later he welcomed the champion Miami Heat to the White House. He even doubled up by having two Los Angeles champions, the Galaxy (soccer) and Kings (hockey) come together. However, some athletes have turned down President Obama’s invitation, with one even saying he was “not a fan of the guy in the White House.”
Four NASCAR drivers – Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart – did not attend because of conflicts on their schedule – probably not an excuse Presidents hear very often. Republican groups put huge efforts into registering voters at NASCAR events.
Former Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Dan Hampton said he was “not a fan of the guy in the White House,” when skipping President Obama’s invite to the 1985 Superbowl champions to have reunion at the White House. In 1985, the Bears visit was cancelled after the Space Shuttle crash.
President Barack Obama had a lot to congratulate Rick Pitino about. Within a week of coaching Louisville past Michigan for the title, Pitino was elected to the basketball Hall of Fame, his son was named coach at Minnesota, and one of his horses won a race to earn a start at the Kentucky Derby.
For the AP story on the Wednesday call, click here.