You think ol’ Roy has to worry about the White House question?
Asked after his team won the national championship over Gonzaga whether he would accept an invitation to be feted at the White House, Roy Williams was non-committal. The Tar Heels’ head coach said he didn’t know if they would even get invited.
My guess is that Williams won’t have to worry about it. So far, President Trump has stayed away from putting himself voluntarily in uncomfortable situations. He turned down an invitation to throw out the first pitch on opening day of the baseball season, likely because he would have been booed by a portion of the Washington Nationals crowd. To heck with it being a long-time presidential ritual.
Trump also declined attending the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, another tradition of his office, without explanation. Speculation ranged from his ongoing feud with the news media to his not having a sense of humor for an event that has been likened to a roast between speakers, including the president.
So if you wanted to speculate over whether the Tar Heels will be invited, here are a few reasons why they may not be:
At the ACC tournament in Brooklyn, in answering a question about the rapid growth of social media in the country, Williams said Trump tweets out more bull-doody than anyone he’s seen. While far more apolitical than his mentor Dean Smith, ol’ Roy’s friendship with and admiration for President Obama is well known. Obama once scrimmaged with the Tar Heels, he visited Williams again during a campaign stop last fall and he picked the Tar Heels to win the national championship at least three times in his March Madness bracket, including this past season.
Past preferences or associations have been indicators on how Trump will act when such decisions arise. He gladly welcomed the NFL champion Patriots this week because of his friendship with Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft. But a UNC invite is harder to predict.
If it does come, maybe Williams will let those players, coaches, managers and staff who want to go… go. The others can stay home.