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Coaches are upset that this championship team hasn't gotten a White House invite
The South Carolina women's basketball team, which won the 2017 NCAA championship, has not been invited to the White House. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Coaches are upset that this championship team hasn't gotten a White House invite

Most conversation about championship sports teams visiting the White House recently has been about who doesn't want to go, or who didn't show up.

In the case of the NCAA champion South Carolina women's basketball team, however, coaches are wondering where the invitation is.

A 'slap in the face?'

Every NCAA women's basketball champion since 1983 has been invited to the White House, as is tradition for championship teams in major professional and college sports leagues.

But, more than six months after South Carolina beat Mississippi State to win the first national championship in program history, the Gamecocks have not been invited.

Coaches in the Southeastern Conference expressed their displeasure about the situation during the SEC's women's basketball media day Thursday.

Vanderbilt coach Stephanie White: “From someone who has had that experience and understanding what that experience means and for [South Carolina head coach] Dawn [Staley] and their team, it’s kind of slap in the face. It bothers me for them. I think when you’re inviting every other champion, it’s a slap in the face. It bothers me for them because they deserve that opportunity, if that opportunity is presented to everyone else."

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick: "We enjoyed the White House. I hope that if Dawn wants to go and take her team, I hope she gets that opportunity. It's a special time."

Louisiana State coach Nikki Fargas: "They should be given the opportunity to [visit the White House]. It's something that every team before them has been able to do. Why now? Change in leadership? I don't know."

What did South Carolina's coach say?

Dawn Staley, South Carolina's head coach, avoided directly addressing the situation. Instead, she spoke about her appreciation for her fellow coaches' sentiments, and for their ability to speak freely.

"Our coaches in our league stand up for what’s right," Staley said. "The fact that they can speak out on it, it’s a great thing. It’s what America is all about, being able to exercise your First Amendment right.

"What I am most looking forward to is getting an invitation to the NCAA tournament in 2018. That's more important."

(H/T USA Today)

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