June 25, 2014

Summer Football Roundtable hits the hot topics

The Warchant.com Roundtable consists of publisher Gene Williams, and staff writers Powell Latimer and Ben Jones.

1. How big a deal is it if Florida State does not get an invite to the White House?

Ben Jones: It's more than a minor inconvenience. Visiting the White House is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it's a moment of celebration for a team that's worked hard for months. FSU's players will always have their championship rings and memories of Pasadena, but it's understandable if players are disappointed that they missed out on this chance. If Florida State can make a trip during August happen, then it's worth it to round up as many players as possible. For many, college athletics is still about giving student-athletes the kind of experiences that wouldn't otherwise be available to them. This certainly qualifies, and it's worth it to keep pushing for a date with the president.

Powell Latimer: It's a reasonably big deal if it doesn't happen, and frankly, the odds of it happening are slim now. Whether it's political maneuvering or just poor scheduling, my money is on the visit not happening.

If it doesn't come together, that's a first in the BCS era, and it's likely that the White House would face some bad press, something every presidential administration ever is no stranger to.

Even as fervent as FSUTwitter is, it's probably not the end of the world. While it maybe stings FSU's pride, a White House snub may not register with players all that much - they'll be either enjoying summer or training for next season or in the NFL. The thing to watch for is if more rumblings about political concerns come out in the future. If that's the case, this could turn ugly. If the narrative remains that it's just tough scheduling luck, then it'll go away.

Gene Williams: It's a big deal? Not at all. FSU has its crystal ball, it has the Heisman Trophy, it has the memories and highlights from the Jan. 6 game, and all the other benefits that flow from winning the big prize. The absence of trip to Washington won't diminish any of that in the slightest.

That being said, it's unfair to the players that were snubbed. And you could tell by some of the reactions on Twitter that a few FSU players were disappointed that the trip looks unlikely. These guys earned everything that goes along with winning a national championship, even something as minor as a trip to the White House.

And I don't buy the "scheduling difficulties" excuse one bit. It's an obvious dodge to shield the President from potential political blowback since he's been so vocal for Title IX. This isn't a party thing IMO, just a function of a politically correct society and White House political spin doctors doing their best to protect POTUS from negative media publicity.

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