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NCAA basketball champs will not accept invitation to White House – here's the coach's statement

Many will read a political statement into this

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The NCAA championship basketball team from the University of Virginia will not accept the invitation from President Donald Trump to the White House, but the coach say it's simply a matter of scheduling.

Coach Tony Bennett released a statement that was tweeted out by the official University of Virginia account.

"We have received inquiries about a visit to the White House," said Bennett in the statement. "With several players either pursuing pro opportunities or moving on from UVA, it would be difficult, if not impossible to get everyone back together."

"We would have to respectfully decline an invitation," he concluded.

The invitation of champion sports teams to the White House has become politically charged since the election of President Donald Trump, with many players refusing to meet him over their political differences.

After the victory of the Cavaliers, a UVA alumna and activist began a petition to pressure the team to not accept the invitation from the president to the White House.

"Now it's time for the Cavaliers to stand strong too," the petition read. "By accepting a White House invitation, the team would be condoning the president's reprehensible and divisive behavior, which is unacceptable."

It received just over 15,000 signatures.

The University of Virginia Cavaliers defeated the Texas Tech. Red Raiders with a final score of 85 to 77.

Here's the president hosting sports teams in 2018:

WATCH: President Trump hosts NCAA championship teams at White House www.youtube.com

One last thing…
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