Slowly but surely, it has become a tradition that major sports teams go to the White House to visit the President of the United States when they win a title. It started with the pro sports, but soon college sports squad would find their way to Washington, DC and hobnob with the President, provide him with a framed jersey, and get one last chance to bask in their win.
The tradition has gotten muted in the past couple of years, both because of politics and COVID, but for the most part it was only the major revenue sports that would get their time at the White House. This changed on Monday, when there was a College Athlete Day hosted by the White House, and in it champions from all three divisions of the NCAA got a chance to go and bask in their titles. Included in the ceremony were the two title teams from Carolina in the ‘22-’23 season, the field hockey and the women’s tennis teams.
The ceremony was originally supposed to be hosted by President Biden, however earlier in the day he had to have a root canal, and so the ceremony was handed off to Vice President Kamala Harris. Opening remarks were given by the new NCAA President, former Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, and the ceremony ended with remarks by Texas Volleyball captain Logan Eggleston who represented all of the champions and gave the VP a representative National Championship trophy.
It was clear that the members of the teams who were able to make it enjoyed their time. Each team got to send one to stand on stage-the Carolina players were on the front row
The last tweet is from the two teams and athletic director Bubba Cunningham walking up the Mall to the Capitol and visiting Valerie Foushee, who represents Chapel Hill in the House of Representatives.
It’s amazing that more athletes representing all different sports get the opportunity to visit Washington, the White House, and Congress. It’s a cherry on top of what amounted to an amazing overall sports season for UNC. This event is a first of its kind for college sports, and while one can have some cynicism to the fact that this is likely an attempt by the NCAA to point out how good their organization is for all of the athletes who “go pro in something else,” it’s still a great reward for a special season.
Congratulations, Tar Heels! Here’s hoping you had fun in Washington, and are ready to defend your titles next season!