Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright said Thursday that his 2017-18 championship team won't be visiting President Donald Trump in the White House this season.
"We probably wouldn't be able to get everybody together. We've lost staff members, we've lost players (to the NBA)," he said at the Big East media day in New York, according to Reuters.
The Wildcats had four players drafted this summer. Mikal Bridges was drafted No. 10 to the Sixers before being traded to the Phoenix Suns, Donte DiVincenzo was drafted No. 17 by the Milwaukee Bucks, Omari Spellman No. 30 by the Atlanta Hawks, and Jalen Brunson No. 33 by the Dallas Mavericks. They also lost assistant coach Ashley Howard, who is now the head coach at La Salle.
Wright added that an invitation from the White House has not been extended.
The news comes one day after the MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he didn't see an issue with the next World Series champion visiting the White House, stressing the importance of "respect for the office."
"I think as an institution, Major League Baseball has always had the greatest respect for the office of the presidency," Manfred told reporters Wednesday. "That doesn't change, no matter who's there. Often we've had situations where individuals, players, whatever, don't agree with all of the policies of the individual that occupies the office. I think the important thing is respect for the office."
It isn't the first Philadelphia sports team to skip the trip this year. In June, President Trump rescinded an invitation to the Eagles when it was revealed how little the guest list was going to be.