Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder says team won't go to White House if invited

Will Kennedy
Des Moines Register

To the victor, and only the victor, goes the spoils.

Iowa women's basketball team came one game short of earning the title of national champions, falling to LSU in the title game on Sunday. First Lady Dr. Jill Biden was in attendance for the game, which took place in Dallas.

On Monday when Biden was speaking at an event in Denver, she said that in addition to LSU, who customarily will get an invitation to the White House as the national champions, she'd consider inviting the Hawkeyes to Washington D.C. too.

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"I know we’ll have the champions come to the White House, we always do. So, we'll have LSU come,” she said. “But, you know, I’m going to tell Joe I think Iowa should come, too, because they played such a good game.”

The statement drew quite the reaction on social media. Even those involved in the game, like LSU's Angel Reese, chimed in.

On Tuesday, Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder responded to Biden's statement by saying that even if a formal invitation were to come, her team would pass on the opportunity since they lost the game. Though she did extend an invitation of her own to the First Family.

"I gratefully acknowledge the First Lady’s sentiments, but a day at the White House should belong solely to the champion, LSU and Coach (Kim) Mulkey," Bluder tweeted. "We would welcome the First Lady and President to come to Iowa’s “House” – Carver-Hawkeye Arena — any time!"

More:Iowa vs. LSU breaks all-time records for NCAA women's basketball on TV, streaming

When appearing on ESPN's Outside The Lines earlier in the day Tuesday, superstar Caitlin Clark also said she wouldn't want to go to the White House like this.

"I don't think runner-ups usually go to the White House, I think LSU should enjoy that moment for them and congratulations obviously, they deserve to go there," Clark said. "Maybe I could go to the White House on different terms, though. But you know, that's for LSU. That's a pretty cool moment and they should enjoy every single second of being a champion."

Jill Biden's office clarifies the statement

Vanessa Valdivia, Biden's press secretary, clarified the First Lady's statement on Tuesday afternoon in a tweet thread.

More:Iowa women's basketball team receives warm welcome from fans upon return to Iowa City

"The First Lady loved watching the NCAA women's basketball championship game alongside young student-athletes and admires how far women have advanced in sports since the passing of Title IX. Her comments in Colorado were intended to applaud the historic game and all women athletes. She looks forward to celebrating the LSU Tigers on their championship win at the White House."