In what has to be the worst form from the Obama White House to date – and the bar has been set pretty low – the members of the 2013-14 Union College hockey team, winners of the NCAA’s 2014 Frozen Four, were not invited to the White House. Â Unlike team members of the other NCAA division I sports champions, hockey got shut out this year.
Despite a yearlong campaign from local Congressman Paul Tonko (D., N.Y.) to bring the Union College team to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the administration has refused to admit the team, as it did the 2015 NCAA Football Champion Ohio State Buckeyes on Monday.
â€œThis [Ohio State] visit will continue the tradition begun by President Obama of honoring sports teams for their efforts to give back to their communities,â€ the White House said in a release.
And a little college in New York whose hockey team beat MINNESOTA for the title of Frozen Four champion doesn’t deserve the recognition? Â Not everyone in this country is a hockey fan, but come on. Â They beat Minnesota, one of the perpetual powerhouses – one of the teams that is always loaded with NHL prospects. Â It’s a much bigger fairy tale than Ohio State beating anybody in football. Â Besides, Obama did welcome the previous two Frozen Four winners, Boston College in 2012 and Yale in 2013. Â Why the 2014 champions were excluded is a mystery since the Obama White House is not commenting.
While simply not inviting a division I champion in one of the four major sports to the White House is bad enough, what is arguably more egregious is that the White House didn’t bother to contact Union College to give them the bad news. Â They had Rep. Tomko do it.
[Union College] Coach [Rick] Bennett lamented the fact that the hockey team would be left off the White House guest list, calling it â€œheartbreaking for our players.â€ He emphasized that he has no political opinion on the situation; he just wants to reward his players for their hard work.
â€œI donâ€™t think itâ€™s any different than any other team winning a national championship â€¦ if these other schools can make the visit then I donâ€™t understand why Union College hockey canâ€™t,â€ he said in a phone interview with the Washington Free Beacon. â€œI thought what Union College hockey did was very special. For a small school to do what we did is a pretty interesting story â€¦ it was a special group of guys.”
There is no excuse for this. Â None. Â These guys got snubbed, dissed and otherwise humiliated. Â Which is why a lot of hockey fans will be rooting for them next season